Two Dundee-based property entrepreneurs have offered to donate some of their flats to homeless people, in collaboration with the charity Social Bite.
Graeme and Leanne Carling are offering units from their property stock in Tayside free of charge, as part of their involvement with Saturday’s Sleep in the Park event.
They are also showing their support by sleeping out at Slessor Gardens in Dundee this weekend as part of the mass event. They have also donated £5,000 as corporate sponsors of the Dundee event.
In addition, for every £2,500 more that their team raises, PRS Group will house one homeless person free of charge for a year, up to a maximum of eight people.
Actual homes, not hostels or B&Bs
Social Bite’s mission is to make actual homes available for people who are homeless, rather than hostels and bed and breakfasts. Its Social Bite Village in Edinburgh opened in July.
Social Bite and PRS Group are in talks over how the property firm can divert some of its units for use by the homeless.
Graeme Carling said: “We didn’t hesitate to back Sleep in the Park Dundee. As property developers and supporters of their mission, it just makes sense that we would both take part in and sponsor it. But it was also important to walk the walk and go an extra step, particularly as we are landlords. Not only did we want to sleep out, we wanted to put some of our units to good use and offer accommodation free of charge to homeless people for a year.”
Social Bite founder Josh Littlejohn said: “We’re delighted to be working with Graeme and Leanne on both Sleep in the Park Dundee and on their offer to provided free accommodation for the homeless. It’s only through innovative solutions like this that we will help eradicate homelessness in Scotland.”
The Carlings have also worked with the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership on projects to convert non-residential buildings and renovate existing homes. Last year they were the first private property developers to receive affordable housing support from the Scottish Government.
Sleep in the Park
Sleep in the Park is taking place across four cities – Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee – with an estimated 12,000 people participating. Social Bite, which addresses homelessness through its cafes, restaurants and free food distribution in Scotland, is aiming to build on last year’s fundraising total of £4 million.
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