My name is Michael, I’m originally from Salford and joined Emmaus Salford in November 2015. I was a graphic designer before I came here. I had my own business, running freelance, but things started to fall apart after spending too many hours on the job.

I ended up losing my business and finished up homeless, on the streets for four months. I found a place called Salford Loaves and Fishes, a night shelter who took me in. It’s through them that I found out about Emmaus.

Meeting new people

It was a bit eerie when I moved here initially – not knowing anyone and being unsure of the place. Having said that, everyone seemed to be very friendly and welcoming. I soon settled into the community though, found my feet with the work and I’ve now got some good friends here.

I mainly work in the shops – sorting the donations that come in, serving customers and selling. We get quite a few characters that come in here, a lot of regulars who like to come in for a chat and then buy a few things.

I’ve completed a Level 1 course in Warehousing and I’m planning to do the Level 2 course. After that I’m hoping to do a Fork Lift Truck (FLT) course to add another string to my bow. If I don’t end up getting back into what I mainly do then at least I’ll have something else to fall back on.

Peer support

The thing I enjoy most about being part of Emmaus Salford is the community aspect. We all seem to get on very well and look out for each other. There’s a real mix of people here but we just try to help each other out – through daily challenges, life issues, even emotionally. We all have our own problems, like most people do, but we listen to each other and help where we can.

Looking forward I’m pleased that we’ll soon be opening a new shop in Swinton. It shows that we are making an effort to grow and things are coming together for us. Working and supporting Emmaus Salford is my main pleasure at the moment. What I’ve seen at Emmaus is that we’re expanding, rapidly really, and helping even more people.

I’d say to all the people who support Emmaus, keep helping us out. We are doing good things and want to keep on doing good things – for ourselves and the wider Salford community.