Members of Emmaus Burnley and Emmaus Preston, Beckie and Karen, feature in a podcast to raise awareness of the work of Emmaus charities.
Karen, was homeless on and off for 15 years; her abusive partner forced her to steal and become addicted to heroin. When Karen’s partner died, she got herself clean but battled with alcohol addiction. After spending time in prison, Karen found Emmaus and has since got her life back on track. She’s now Head of Support at Emmaus Burnley and Emmaus Preston, helping other people who’ve experienced homelessness to turn their lives around.
Beckie became homeless after experiencing domestic violence and sadly losing her two children to social services. Now with the support of Emmaus, Beckie is training to become a social worker. Beckie has shared her experience in episode five of Emmaus Homelessness Matters podcast.
The podcast shares stories from people supported by the charity and aims to highlight the many reasons why someone may become homeless, with each episode addressing a variety of important issues including mental health, relationship breakdowns, addiction, debt, and domestic violence.
Commenting on why she took part in the podcast, Beckie, said: “I want people to be aware of the help at Emmaus provides for people from different backgrounds. I wanted to address the stereotypes: that everyone who is homeless drinks alcohol or is on drugs. It’s not as simple as that. People need the time and space to work through their issues and Emmaus understands that.
“Emmaus recognises everyone has got a past, everyone should have a future.”
At Emmaus, Beckie has a home for as long as needed, gains work experience in the charity’s three shops in Preston and receives daily support. She is now in college training to be a social worker.
Emmaus Preston and Emmaus Burnley communities are two of 30 across the UK, collectively supporting more than 850 people.
Joining Beckie on the episode is Karen, who is Head of Support at Emmaus Burnley and Emmaus Preston. Karen was supported by Emmaus after being homeless on and off over a period of 15 years.
Karen said: “The most important thing about Emmaus is empowerment. Making people believe in themselves and empowering them to go on to move into their own flat, get a job and live a fulfilled and happy life.”
Beckie and Karen’s episode on the Homelessness Matters podcast is available on major podcast streaming platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and TuneIn and can also be found at www.emmaus.org.uk/podcast
If you have been inspired by Karen and Beckie’s stories and want to donate to the charity, go to Make A Donation.