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- In Practice
Pathway from hostel to home through catering
ORGANISATION: Fat Macy's
To run supper clubs to raise money for housing deposits for homeless residents to access the housing market.
When living in temporary hostel accommodation, residents find it increasingly challenging to save money for independent living due to the benefit system, sanctions and the daily expense of hostel living. Under Housing Benefit legislation, anyone working over 16 hours per week isn’t entitled to a full allowance, and so the more you work, the more benefits are reduced. For those living in temporary accommodation, this means paying an increasingly hefty chunk of the £1000+ monthly rent.
Fat Macy's run supper club events and in-hostel training to create a framework through which participants can overcome the financial barriers preventing them from moving into rented accommodation, whilst gaining valuable work experience and giving them the confidence to challenge the perception of homelessness.
Fat Macy's run a five day in-hostel training programme for ten residents with a social enterprise - providing basic cooking, catering and hospitality skills, alongside vital tools for independent living: understanding food hygiene; cooking; financial planning; budgeting, running and curating events; and practical work experience. This training also includes securing a Level Two Food Hygiene Certification.
Fat Macy's event series run in tandem with the in-hostel training, providing a showcase of our participants work over the past six weeks. They will run a series of supper club events alongside external catering contracts, which provide the opportunity for our participants to overcome the cycle of homelessness.
Fat Macy's use the project’s profits to create a specified housing deposit scheme. With every pop-up event, each chef can make an independent and progressive step in saving securely for their future. Their trainees volunteer their time, and in return Fat Macy's donate the equivalent of £10 per hour into a charity foundation - a secure deposit fund, which is held until they have saved enough for a deposit. At this point, Fat Macy's require a tenancy agreement before they pay the deposit directly to the landlord.
Fat Macy's would like to refine the catering and hospitality training to then pilot it in a range of hostels across London. They think they've developed a model that creates a direct pathway from hostel to home - which could be replicated nationwide.