On World Homeless Day (Saturday 10 October) Emmaus Colchester is calling on those who are homeless to seek help from its charity.
The charity supports up to 31 people who have experienced homelessness by giving them a safe home, meaningful work in a social enterprise and an opportunity to regain lost self-esteem to help rebuild their lives.
Flo Baines, Community Support Manager of Emmaus Colchester, said: “We support people who come to us from lots of different circumstances. Some have experienced sofa surfing, street homeless, or others have faced eviction.
“Emmaus provides a home as long as is needed, but also provides the support they need to move on. We are able to create an environment where companions can look forward to the future and build a positive life for themselves with the support of fellow companions and staff.”
Jason Clisby is one companion who is pleased that he took the step to make a referral to Emmaus Colchester. He joined the Colchester community one year ago after facing eviction. Jason said: “It’s a difficult time during Covid-19 but I want to get back on my feet and find a job, get my debts down and get a place of my own. Emmaus Colchester has allowed me to gain a lot of experience and skills and I’m very grateful to the staff. It’s really worth making a referral, there’s nothing to lose.”
Research published by Crisis in June shows a sharp increase in demand for front–line homelessness services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than half of frontline services surveyed saw a rise in homelessness since the start of the pandemic and nearly three-quarters reported an increase in demand for their services.
As job losses continue, the ban on evictions is lifted and rough sleepers housed in temporary accommodation are forced back onto the streets, the coronavirus crisis continues to place additional pressure on people already struggling with low wages and unaffordable rent, pushing too many to the brink.
As more people are forced into homelessness due to the COVID-19 crisis, the need for the support Emmaus provides is now more important than ever.
Emmaus Colchester currently has spaces at its Community House. If you are facing homelessness, or know of someone who is, click here to find out about a referral.
You can also support the work of the charity through donating your unwanted furniture, or picking up a bargain at The Works on Osborne Street, or New Life on Crouch Street. All the money Emmaus Colchester raises in its shops goes directly towards its vital work supporting formerly homeless people in Colchester.