Through doing this, Invisible Cities gives people a voice, when they haven’t had one before, putting them at the centre of the attention and challenging the stigmas that exist around homelessness.
Invisible cities, which has partnered with organisations such as Crisis, Social Bite, The Big Issue, and Grassmarket Community project (to name only a few) was founded in Edinburgh, in 2016. It has since expanded into Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Manchester and has trained a total of 36 people throughout the UK. In 2018 alone the social enterprise welcomed 1,500 onto the tours and an additional 1,000 people took part in school talks, corporate lunches, and public presentations.
The enterprise works tirelessly to train guides so that they can access development and employment opportunities, providing them with support in every aspect of their lives. As well as this Invisible Cities challenges the stigma that surrounds homelessness, and changes the perception of homelessness by giving trained guides a voice to share their experiences. Alongside this, they offer local opportunities for their trainees and guides to volunteer and be involved in community events, changing the perceptions they may have of themselves, from service users to active members of the community.
Invisible Cities is looking for investment to increase their staff intake, develop their website, and scale the programme to work on a more national and international level, without compromising on quality. By the end of 2019, they aim to have developed a network of pop-up selling points in each city, have a permanent base in Edinburgh, build a Guide Committee, and to have the project running in another UK city (York).
Want to find out more about Invisible Cities? Visit their website here: www.invisible-cities.org