The Merchants House of Glasgow, a social enterprise charity with a 400-year-old history, today (Monday, March 19) announced its support for a major new initiative to help homeless and vulnerable people with an award of £200,000 over the next two years.

The Merchants House initiative’s first Social Impact Partner is Social Bite, the organisation co-founded by Josh Littlejohn and Alice Thompson, which has already made a substantial impact in helping the homeless through a range of support programmes including its highly praised Housing First Initiative. Through its partnership with Social Bite, the Merchants House will help homeless people sleeping rough in Glasgow, many of them with mental health and employability issues, into permanent housing and employment

Josh Littlejohn said: “We’re delighted The Merchants House of Glasgow decided to become involved in helping the homeless through a partnership with Social Bite. “There needs to be a wholesale transformation in the way services are provided to the homeless and the Housing First Initiative aims to provide them with a permanent residence rather than living in hostels where addictions or mental health problems can fester. “That takes funding and the financial support provided by The Merchants House is a very welcome boost to achieving our eventual goal of eradicating homelessness in Scotland.”

The Merchants House initiative was also endorsed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon The First Minister said: “Scotland has some of the strongest housing rights for homeless people anywhere in the world, so most people are protected if they are threatened with homelessness. However, the work of charities and organisations like The Merchants House of Glasgow is hugely important and I commend them for taking forward this initiative, bringing together partners who can deliver help to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”