Like any flourishing community, Emmaus Leeds is most successful when everyone makes a contribution. For us, that means working together in our social enterprise, to generate the funds needed to support the community and the companions that call it home.
We support 26 formerly homeless people, known as companions, at our community building. Each person has their own en-suite bedroom and access to a number of communal rooms including kitchen, lounge area and study.
Companions are expected to work 40 hours per week, or as much as they are able, in the charity’s social enterprise. They are required to sign off all benefits with the exception of housing benefit, which is claimed to help support the community.
The Emmaus model has a huge impact on restoring confidence and self-respect, as companions take responsibility for keeping their community going and work hard 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 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.
For every £1 spent with Emmaus there is an £11 social, economic and environmental return on investment.
This was the finding of a social return on investment study carried out on behalf of Emmaus. The research showed that we make a significant impact, with savings to the healthcare system, a reduction in crime and reoffending as well as savings to the benefits bill. Read the full report here.
Solidarity, helping others less fortunate than yourself, is central to the Emmaus way of life. Everyone at Emmaus Leeds, including companions, staff, trustees and volunteers are 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 them that they can make a difference to someone else’s life and add value to the lives of people around them.