Report on Social Bite by Charlie Rutter, Cameron Brennan, Roxy Hill
We had a very informative talk by two staff members at Social Bite, a non-profit café social enterprise, that owns some cafes, have an academy programme and built the village which allows people to “pay forward” meaning you can donate so other people in need and others who can’t pay themselves, can eat, specifically homeless people in need of a meal. Something else that social bite does which makes it stand out against other organisations is it’s “academy” where they train homeless people and help them get a job and a stable lifestyle, along with this they have also built what they call “the social bite Village” which is sustainable free housing this means entirely free. They get accommodation and support up to 18 months, as opposed to temporary accommodation that only lasts days or a couple of weeks for those who need it. They further explained that they work closely with the council teams who monitor the homeless rates, and with this information they tailor their service to help as many people as possible. We spoke to two of the representatives who work at the original location in Edinburgh and they were incredibly welcoming and another plus was the food was really good. They explained to us the importance of their work and what they have already achieved as well as their plans to expand and ideas for the future. The organisation has good beliefs and morals, believing that everyone is equal and shouldn’t have to explain why they are in need. They also teach their staff methods of distinguishing who needs their help, as spotting someone in need is often harder than first understood.
In conclusion there are many people trying to solve the epidemic that is homelessness and we encourage you to seek out ways to help solve this problem and help build a Scotland without homelessness. Please volunteer at whatever you can we promise it makes a difference, or put some money in the charity tin. No matter what you do support is welcomed and appreciated.
Café Manager Rory stressed that Social Bite wants to eradicate homelessness, which is the reason why this service was started in Edinburgh.
Report on Social Bite by Ashley Panel, Ellie Prouse and Mathew
Social Bite takes a unique approach to tackling the problem of homelessness in Scotland. Founded in 2011, they started by setting up a café in Edinburgh with the goal to donate all their profits to help those who are homeless. They now have chains in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. The free food offer is- Breakfast rolls are served from 8am to 11am and social scrans happen at 3:30pm. Opening hours are 7am-3pm for all our shops.
They are a non-profit social enterprise who is dedicated to helping people find permanent and stable housing. However, they also support anyone who needs their help, not only people who have been living on the streets but also people sofa surfing or those who are struggling financially. Social Bite partnership with different organisations to support everyone the best they can. There are different organisations that reach out to Social Bite to give as much help as they can, meaning that if Social Bite can’t give the help that people need then they reach out to different organisations who are able to support them.
One of the initiatives they have put in place to help people is their ‘Pay It Forward’ programme, where people can pay for a coffee, sandwich or hot meal for someone who is unable to pay for it themselves. This is not only designed for people who are homeless but simply for anyone who needs it.
They have the Social Bite Village which can house up to 20 people for 18 months, which is designed for people to have a place to stay while they find more permanent housing. Social Bite doesn’t just lose contact once they have helped people find housing, however. They also help people learn about budgeting, finding work and other life skills that many people might take for granted.
Every year an event is held known as the Sleep Out, which gives insight on what it is like to live as a homeless person for the night and generates lots of funds and awareness This money goes towards benefiting the homeless in alternative ways such as building temporary housing or going towards free food and drink. Social Bite has a goal to get 830 people a house and so far they have 216 people, and this is rising all the time. Social Bite are with you even after you’ve secured housing, and will only leave when you decide you don’t want their support anymore. You can email them: firstname.lastname@example.org, visit their website at: www.social-bite.co/uk/ or phone them on 0131 353 0250.
The issue of homelessness is a big one in Scotland, but there are organisations set up to help those struggling because of homelessness. These organisations are dedicated to helping people find permanent housing and guiding them to getting their lives back on track. There is any number of ways to helping these organisations in their goals, such as participating in the Pay It Forward initiative, paying patronage to the cafes or retail shops in Edinburgh or simply donating to the organisations.