Theatre company launches crowdfunder to feed and clothe Leith’s homeless

Photo Credit: Aiala Garcia on Flickr

Photo Above: Edinburgh Homeless © Aiala Garcia on Flickr

Creative Electric launched a crowdfunder to support a community arts cafe in Leith yesterday.

The Edinburgh-based theatre company hope to raise £1,000 for the re:place community arts cafes project, a pay-it-forward scheme to help homeless and vulnerable people in the area.

The money raised will be used to host monthly community cafe evenings where people sleeping rough and in temporary accommodation will be provided with “re:place packs”.

These packs will contain socks, hats, gloves, toiletries, sanitary products and arts materials.

People can also directly donate these items at each community cafe session.

Attendees will additionally receive a hot meal and an extra food portion that they can take away and eat the next day.

The idea came after Creative Electric hosted a trial cafe session in Ostara Cafe on Monday evening.

Eighteen people with difficult living situations came to the venue, where they were served a hearty meal, received warm clothes donated by the local community, and engaged in arts activities.

Heather Marshall, Director of Creative Electric, wrote on the I LOVE LEITH Facebook page:“My heart is full of love tonight. 18 people joined us for dinner tonight who have all found themselves to be homeless.

“Some are living on the streets, some are in temporary accommodation and some are sleeping on church floors. But tonight we all sat in the beautiful Ostara Cafe and shared food and stories.

“I feel like I spent the evening with a group on  new friends.”

One man apparently toasted the organisers and thanked them for treating their homeless guests like equals.

Another diner reportedly praised the cafe for serving “actual, real, proper food that has flavour and real ingredients and no what we’d normally get given at a homeless project.”

The guests are said to have been especially keen on being given more arts materials to break up the monotony of homelessness and help them stay more positive.

Leith Creative, who manage the “People and Places – Make Leith Better” project, and First Port both supported this first community arts cafe session.

The next session will take place again on Monday 18 December in Ostara Cafe, 52 Coburg St, Edinburgh, EH6 6HJ.