Social bite homeless village ‘will not be a ghetto’

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The co-founder of SocialBite, Josh Littlejohn, has said that Scotland’s first homeless village will not become a ghetto.

As part of the development, 10 two-bedroom homes in Granton is expected to welcome its first tenants later this year.

Josh Littlejohn spoke about the future of the homeless village

Josh Littlejohn spoke about the future of the homeless village

In an interview with The Herald, the creator of the village even admitted that the radical plan ‘may not work’

SocialBite has been endorsed by a number of celebrities with visits with Prince Harry and fiancee Meghan Markle visiting this afternoon as part of their visit to Edinburgh.

The cafe encourages “pay it forward” asking customers to pay extra to buy food for those who can’t afford their own.

READ MORE: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Edinburgh visit: Where they’ll be and when

Sleep in the Park raised funds for the homeless village

Sleep in the Park raised funds for the homeless village

Speaking on the aims of the village, Mr Littlejohn said homeless Scots should be given a permanent residence rather than live in “degrading and isolating” hostels that encourage addicitons and mental health problems.

He said: “If people going into hostels haven’t got an addiction they develop one, if they have an addiction or a mental health problem already, it gets worse,

“At present, people deteriorate, but the cost to the police, health and jail budgets as well as the cost to the individuals themselves is written off.

READ MORE: Social Bite pledges £3m to move homeless people into flats

“We should give them the keys to a house and the right support. The difficult thing is to dual-fund two systems until it becomes mainstream.”

“The findings echoed the voices of almost everyone I ever speak to. The academics said: ‘don’t ask us to do more research - it works’.”

The homeless village follows on from the success of Sleep in the Park with Littlejohn also urging the Scottish Government to work with charities for a “wholesale transformation” of services.