Human beings are the epitome of social animals. So the idea behind Scotland’s first village for homeless people – to create a community where individuals can help one another to escape from life on the streets – almost seems obvious.
It is perhaps a surprise that such a scheme is not already the model of how to get vulnerable people back on their feet.
The charity behind the village, Social Bite, has spoken of how they can currently spend years in the “homeless system”, sleeping rough and in often-unsuitable temporary accommodation, a process that only increases their feelings of isolation, as they are tested to see if they “qualify” for a permanent home.
In contrast, the village will provide them with a ‘NestHouse’ and have a community hub where the inhabitants can eat and socialise together.
With support from staff of the charity Cyrenians, the plan is they will eventually move on to a permanent home.
It is extraordinary that in a few years Social Bite appears to have found a way to potentially achieve its ambitious goal of ending homelessness in Scotland.