Emmaus is a homelessness charity providing more than just a bed for the night, for people who’ve been homeless and those at risk of homelessness.

Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire is one of 30 Emmaus communities across the country, supporting more than 850 people who have faced homelessness in the UK. There are also three Emmaus groups which are working towards setting up an Emmaus community in their area.

Here’s a video from our sister charities in the North West of England, giving a great overview of Emmaus:

How it works

Each Emmaus community provides a home for as long as someone needs it, as well as support and work opportunities. Living in a stable environment with the opportunity to work helps our residents, known as companions, to regain lost self-esteem and the confidence to get back on their feet when they feel ready. We supply all meals, clothing and toiletries.

Our dedicated support staff work with each person according to their individual needs. There are plenty of training opportunities and there’s no time limit. Some people stay for a short while and others need a bit longer until they are ready to get back on their feet. We support people to move on when they feel ready to do so, helping them find accommodation and work.

Work opportunities

Like any flourishing community, Emmaus is most successful when everyone makes a contribution. For us, that means working together to run social enterprises such as charity shops, to generate funds needed to support the community and the companions that call it home.

The people we support sign off all benefits with the exception of housing benefit, which is claimed to help support the charity.

The Emmaus model has a huge impact on restoring confidence and self-respect, as companions take responsibility for keeping their community going and work to support themselves and others.

Emmaus is not about giving hand-outs, it’s about providing people with the tools to help themselves. This approach has been proven to produce long-term, sustainable results. For the many people who have been stuck in a cycle of homelessness, Emmaus provides the space and support they need to take stock of their lives and make positive changes for the future.

Helping others

The idea of helping others less fortunate than yourself, is central to the Emmaus way of life. We call it ‘solidarity’. Everyone at Emmaus, including companions, staff, trustees and volunteers is encouraged to carry out acts of solidarity to support people who need it most.

For companions in particular, this has a huge impact on their confidence and self-worth, showing that they can make a difference to someone else’s life and add value to the lives of people around them.

Emmaus in the world

Emmaus isn’t just in the UK, in fact it originally started in France in the 1940s. Since then Emmaus has grown into an international movement with more than 300 groups based in 36 countries across the world.

Find out more about the history of Emmaus.