“It’s funny how a cliche can have such resonance, but it does. We’re open and we’re waiting for you!” This was the message on Twitter on Wednesday that heralded the launch of Schedia Home, a new space in downtown Athens offering support to vulnerable residents, which aspires to become a hub of social innovation.
An initiative of the company behind the Schedia street magazine, this new space is in one of the Greek capital’s coolest spots, on the corner of Kolokotroni and Nikiou streets, right in the historic center.
The four-story building has an exhibition hall, an art workshop, a store, a cafe-bar and a restaurant, where the menu has been designed by Lefteris Lazarou. The renowned chef and his associate Yiannis Yfantidis spent several months training a team of Schedia members to execute the dishes.
Schedia Home will have a staff of almost 30 people, many of whom have been out of the job market for several years. The objective, says Christos Alefantis, the magazine’s editor in chief, is to “energize, empower, train and create job opportunities for the poorest of the poor of this country.”
The building is wheelchair-accessible, while the menu is also available on audio for visually impaired patrons. Moreover, it makes limited use of plastic and uses organic milk, eggs and chicken in its food preparation.
The initiative is supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, which is the main donor, as well as the Tima Foundation, Visa Hellas and Caritas.