In a newly refurbished 1860 building located in one of the prettiest neighbourhoods in Athens, the Greek street paper “Schedia” has launched a project that will help older homeless people find formal work, some for the first time in their lives.
Its new ‘Schedia Home’ multispace, which is envisaged as a solidarity and social innovation hub, will be officially unveiled to the press on Wednesday at 18:00.
- Located on the corner of Kolokotroni 56 and Nikis Street in central Athens, the four-storey ‘Schedia Home’ building boasts a gallery, retail shop, the ‘Schedia Art’ workshops, a restaurant and a cafe-bar where visitors can kick back and relax, even come for drinks and dancing.
“Some of the people working at ‘Schedia Home’, nearly 30 at this time, are paying social insurance contributions for the first time in their lives. Criteria for hiring were for the applicants to be over 50 years old when it is harder for them to find work,” the editor of Schedia Chris Alefantis said to the Athens-Macedonia News Agency (ANA).
- The staff, many of which previously sold the ‘Schedia’ magazine on the street, have been trained to cook, wait tables and serve at the bar and also how to make works of art out of paper, he said, noting that all the 80 objects on display, from jewellery to lampshades, are made from unsold copies of the magazine.
The menu was designed by celebrity chef Lefteris Lazarou, with the Schedia staff trained to prepare the dishes by his associate Yiannis Yfantidis, while barman Petros Mytilineos taught them how to make the cocktails.
- The kitchen is in the basement of the building, while the shop and gallery are on the ground floor, along with the cafe-bar and restaurant. The workshops occupy the mezzanine and the magazine’s distribution and offices are on the first floor.
On the bookshelves in the cafe, apart from Schedia, customers can also find copies of “New Yorker”, “Der Spiegel” and “Le Monde Diplomatique”, in addition to street papers from all countries to read, while it is also a sales point for “Schedia”.
There is also provision to make the areas fully accessible but also fully enjoyable for people in wheelchairs or with other disabilities, such as an audio version of the menu for those that are sight impared.
- The cafe-bar and restaurant use organic milk, eggs and chicken while they also make minimal use of plastic – meaning no plastic bottles or plastic takeaway utensils, provision for passers-by to refill empty bottles.
Schedia Home will open seven days a week from 8:00 until 3:00 the following morning, while the kitchen will operate from noon to midnight. The retail shop will be open during normal shop opening hours.