Recently I was fortunate to be able to view the newly built Social Bite village for the homeless in Granton, Edinburgh. As I move my business from a commercial venture to a business that supports charity through commercial activity I was really impressed by what Social Bite have achieve. I will leave the pros and cons of the aims of the village to the experts but what really struck me was the financial gravitas of what Social bite have done. Edinburgh Council currently pay £47 per night to house a homeless person in hostel or B&B. That money goes to a private landlord and costs the city £6 million per annum. The council raises that revenue through council tax, which is mandatory. What Social Bite have done is set up two commercial ventures and one fundraising event to raise the money. They have cafes around Scotland and a high end restaurant in Edinburgh. People buy the food and drinks because they want to (and for some because it is to support charity). This is what I love. This is a Win Win because people are getting something in return for their money AND the profits go to the Social Bite charity to help homeless people. There is a lot more to the story which you can find on their website or listen to this podcast with Alice Thompson, one of the co-founders here.
The village has an amazing energy and you can almost feel and touch the humanity that has gone into it. From the gardens, the décor and the handmade quilts. You can see from my video how blown away I was. Oh and I have also manage to commit myself to the big sleepout in December this year which is the third way Social Bite raise money.