Emmaus Cornwall is calling on local people to get behind its goal of setting up a unique residential community for people who have been homeless.

There are 29 Emmaus communities across the UK, supporting 850 people by offering a home, work experience, daily support and funded training so people can rebuild their lives. Emmaus Cornwall is raisjng funds to open such a community, which would be the first of its kind in the county.

For World Homeless Day (October 10), the group of people behind Emmaus Cornwall are keen to spread the word of their plans and ask locals to support the project through donations.

Sue Trewella, Trustee and Chair of Emmaus Cornwall, said:

“We have big plans to set up the first Emmaus community in the area. Like many parts of the UK, more and more people in Cornwall are living in poverty, struggling to make ends meet and many find themselves homeless. Between 2012 and 2019, the number of people reported sleeping rough in Cornwall doubled and we fear this will only get worse now the eviction ban has been lifted.”

The Emmaus community in Cornwall will offer a place to live for as long as it is needed, companionship with others and a sense of purpose through working in the charity’s social enterprises. Each person will have their own bedroom, a weekly allowance and all living expenses covered.

Once Emmaus Cornwall establishes its community, it hopes to support people like 24-year-old Martin, who is currently living at the Emmaus community in Gloucester:

“I started suffering with depression and anxiety from a young age. A lot of things were happening as I was growing up that I wanted to forget, and alcohol seemed like the best way to do that. I got kicked out when I was 22 and spent three months homeless before trying to sort my life out. After three months in rehab, I moved to Emmaus. I’ve been here just over a year and I’ve learned so many new retail skills and Emmaus sent me on an eBay course. I’m now even doing my driving lessons, thanks to Emmaus, and hope to pass my test by this time next year.”

The charity is currently working towards setting up social enterprises that will allow it to be financially self-sufficient and provide the people it supports with a route to re-enter the workplace as part of their rehabilitation. It will also offer education and training courses for people with the purpose of developing skills to enable them to live independently.

Emmaus Cornwall is supported by its Board of Trustees, Project Manager Peter Hawking-Sach and two Patrons; Michael Galsworthy of Trewithen and James Bowen, author of the bestselling novel, A Street Cat Named Bob.

The purpose of World Homeless day is to draw attention to homeless people’s needs locally and provide opportunities for the wider community to get involved in responding to homelessness. To find out more, visit www.worldhomelessday.org

To find out more about Emmaus Cornwall or to make a donation to the charity, visit www.emmaus.org.uk/cornwall. To find out how you can get involved, contact Sue Trewella on [email protected]