Emmaus is a homelessness charity that provides more than just a bed for the night.
We offer a home for as long as someone needs it and meaningful work in our social enterprise. The combination of living in a stable environment and the opportunity to work helps people to regain lost self-esteem and the confidence to get back on their feet.
There are currently 29 Emmaus communities across the UK. Together, we provide a home and meaningful work to 815 formerly homeless people. In addition, there is also five groups working hard to create new communities.
Like any flourishing community, Emmaus is most successful when everyone makes a contribution. Therefore, for us that means volunteering together in a social enterprise. This helps to generate funds needed to support our community and the companions who call it home.
People are expected to volunteer up to 40 hours per week in our social enterprise. They must sign off all benefits with the exception of housing benefit, which is claimed to help support the community. Self-sufficiency is the ultimate goal is for each community. This means supporting itself with the revenue it generates through its businesses.
The Emmaus model has a huge impact on restoring confidence and self-respect. People are shown they have the ability to take responsibility for keeping their community going and work hard to support themselves and others.
Emmaus is not about 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.
We offer a home for as long as needed. There is no time limit. Some people stay with us for a few months, others years, but all are given the time they need to rebuild their lives.
Work is an integral part of community life. The social enterprise side of our community helps to generate the income that will ultimately make our community self-sustaining. In addition to this, it provides people with the opportunity to learn new skills and gain employment outside of Emmaus.
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 re-offending as well as savings to the benefits bill.
The first Emmaus community was founded in Paris, in 1949, by Abbé Pierre. He was an MP, Catholic priest and member of the French Resistance who fought to provide homes for those who lived on the streets of Paris.