Emmaus SLC provides the opportunity for formally homeless, and other socially disadvantaged people, to regain control of their lives whilst living and working alongside others in a supportive, communal environment.

Emmaus is a non-religious community made up of staff, volunteers, and ‘Companions’.  Companion is the name we use for our residents who live and work together within one of our three Community homes.  Companions complete a 37.5-hour week in various roles within our social enterprises or in the Community home.

We ask all potential companions to stop claiming DWP benefits and, in return receive a monthly allowance of £160 with an extra £35 put aside as a savings fund for when they leave.

Support on developing independent living skills is given so when people do choose to leave they are more likely to be successful with household budgeting.

We do ask for eligibility to claim Housing Benefit to be paid to the Community. This goes towards covering the cost of support. We have two Solidarity Rooms, for persons with no recourse to public funds, but there is normally a long wait for these places.

All Companions receive a week’s holiday every 13 weeks and as well as that week’s allowance, they also receive £125 spending money.

Emmaus in the UK currently has 29 communities with many happy to accommodate a Companion whilst on their holiday so they can visit that area.

There are no service charges made to Companions. Food is provided, as well as drinks and snacks outside of working hours. We also provide toiletries, and cleaning materials, and Companions receive a clothing allowance from our shops.

There is Wi-Fi supplied through the living areas and regular social activities are organised, encouraged and subsidised.

There is training available for all Companions so they can increase or expand their skills. All Companions will have regular support meetings with an appropriate member of staff.

When a Companion feels they are confident to leave we will give them the support to move out into independent accommodation and employment.

Being a part of an Emmaus Community is not just about rebuilding your own life, it is also about realising that however far you are in your journey, there is always something you can do to help someone less fortunate than yourself; we all have something to offer to the community.

When we do an action for someone else we call it solidarity, and at Emmaus SLC we support many local and international people in need. These range from donating money, clothing and food to various rough sleeper day centres to helping individuals who are in need. We contribute to international charities to help alleviate poverty abroad.


Our success depends on creating and maintaining a stable community and therefore before anyone is accepted detailed assessments of need and risk are undertaken. Emmaus SLC may take applicants who present with complex problems provided the Community as a whole can support them, it is always best to ring and discuss this first.

The overriding principles in deciding if someone is suitable are:

  • Whether the community can provide a safe environment for the applicant, the Community and others
  • Whether the Community can meet the needs and offer appropriate support to an applicant.

The Community is fully committed to an equal opportunities policy and will not discriminate on the grounds of gender, marital status, age, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, political opinion, disability, sexual orientation or past criminal convictions.

Applicants must be over 18 and willing to undertake up to 37.5 hours per week working to the best of their ability.
We are currently unable to offer the support needed for people with serious mental health issues. Applicants must not use illegal substances or have an active alcohol addiction. Applicants who have recently undertaken a detox programme will be considered but we may impose conditions. Applicants will be drug-tested as part of the process to assess their suitability to join our Community.


All applicants must be prepared to comply with the rules of the Community which include:

  • Companions must treat each other with respect at all times and offer support and friendship.
  • No alcohol is allowed on the premises and we have a zero tolerance to drug use on or off site. Drug or excessive alcohol use may lead to an exclusion from the Community.
  • Violent or aggressive behaviour is not tolerated
  • Companions must not claim DWP benefits, work outside the community or draw any money other than their community allowance


How to join or find out more:

We would recommend coming to visit us to understand better how we try to help people who are experiencing homelessness improve their futures. There is no pressure to join when you visit.

To arrange a visit please contact our Community Managers:

Sanjiv Ahuja for our Lambeth Community on 07495 391023 or 0300 123 2001 or email [email protected]

Vanessa Brown for our Croydon Communities on 07410 406357 or 0300 123 2001 or email [email protected]

What can I expect?
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What can I expect?

In an Emmaus community everyone has their own room, with communal areas for eating and socialising. During the day, companions, as our residents are known, work in our social enterprises, which are mainly charity shops. The work could include working in the shop, sorting items in the warehouse, going out to make deliveries in our vans, or working in the community home.

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