Social Bite, a charity that aims to end homelessness in Scotland, has announced its intention to create a recovery village for homeless people who struggle with addiction in Dundee. The project will provide eco-friendly housing, community facilities, and expert treatment for residents who want to overcome their substance misuse problems.
Dundee has one of the highest drug death rates in Europe
According to the latest statistics, Scotland recorded 1,051 drug-related deaths in 2020, which was the highest rate in Europe and triple the rate of the next worst affected country. Dundee had marginally fewer drug deaths than Glasgow, but still had a higher rate than any other city in the UK. The majority of these deaths were among people who were homeless or living in poverty.
Social Bite’s recovery village will offer a safe and supportive environment
Social Bite’s recovery village will be based on its existing model in Edinburgh, which has been operating since 2018. The village will consist of 15 pre-fabricated houses and a community hub, where residents can access communal dining areas, gym facilities, and counselling rooms. The village will also work with partner charities We Are With You and The WM Sword Charitable Trust to provide expert treatment for recovering addicts.
The project aims to help residents rebuild their lives by giving them a stable and rehabilitative living environment. Residents will also receive support to find permanent accommodation, education, and employment opportunities after they leave the village.
The project has received funding pledges of £1.6m from various sources
The recovery village project has an estimated construction budget of £1.95m, of which £1.6m has already been pledged by various sources. The largest pledge came from the WM Sword Charitable Trust, which donated £1.5m in memory of its benefactor, Dundee entrepreneur Bill Sword. The Insights Foundation also contributed £100,000, and the Tay Charitable Trust gave £50,000.
Social Bite founder Josh Littlejohn said: “We are delighted to see that the city is taking the international lead on what could become a pioneering model for tackling addiction amongst vulnerable people.”
Social Bite is in discussion with Dundee City Council on a site for the project
Social Bite is currently in talks with Dundee City Council to secure a suitable site for the recovery village. The charity hopes to submit a full planning application before the end of the year and start construction as soon as possible.
The project has received support from local politicians and community leaders, who have praised Social Bite’s vision and ambition. Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said: “This is an exciting and innovative proposal that could make a real difference to some of the most vulnerable people in our city.”