When a person joins our community as a companion, they are provided with an individual bedroom, all meals provided in a communal dining room, and normal living expenses. There is no time limit and this stability helps people to rebuild their lives following homelessness.
To be accepted at Emmaus Hertfordshire, a person has to sign off all benefits with the exception of Housing Benefit, which goes to Emmaus Hertfordshire and helps to fund the community home.
Most people stay at Emmaus Hertfordshire for a few months but some leave after a short time and others stay for years.
At Emmaus Hertfordshire, we know that it takes more than just a roof over someone’s head to help them overcome homelessness. That’s why, unlike hostels, companions are required to volunteer up to 40 hours per a week in our social enterprise, with two days off, a long weekend after three months, and a week’s holiday after six months.
Volunteering covers work in our five second-hand shops, gardening, maintenance, van driving, collection and deliveries, stock sorting, kitchen work, upcycling, upholstery, and in our eBay room.
Appropriate free training is provided in health and safety, manual handling, food hygiene and other subjects as relevant.
Opportunities are provided to access other courses and people can apply for the Emmaus UK Companion Training Fund to help cover the costs. Companions can also take on positions of responsibility within the community such as team leaders, duty team members and community assistants.
Some people also choose to gain experience in the PAT testing room to test donations of electrical items or restore donated furniture in the workshop.
Rob, Emmaus Hertfordshire companion
“Emmaus has helped me gain self-confidence and I’ve also learned how to help others.”