Emmaus South Manchester is an independent local charity, working to establish an Emmaus community to support formerly homeless people and help those suffering deprivation and social exclusion in the local area.
We know that our goal of a new Emmaus community depends on many things, not least generating sufficient support and start-up funds. Our journey has only really just begun and we hope that, with the support of individuals and partners, our community will grow and become a thriving asset for people in South Manchester.
The Emmaus concept is proven in supporting those affected by homelessness, to help themselves and to help other people in the communities in which they are based. The model flexes to local need, responding to specific challenges in different geographical areas and delivering innovative solutions to poverty and social exclusion.
At the same time as working towards our community, we are developing solidarity projects in partnership with local groups. Solidarity is at the heart of all Emmaus communities and to us, this means working to help someone less fortunate than yourself. The first of our solidarity initiatives will be a Lucie’s Pantry social grocery and then a drop-in centre for homeless people in the area.
Emmaus South Manchester is working towards a sustainable future for the people we support and for society at large. We know that the current climate emergency is already impacting lives and that people in poverty are most adversely affected.
In the long-term, Emmaus South Manchester will be fully financially self-sufficient. We intend to achieve this by creating a sustainable community and social enterprise that places people, and our impact on the planet, at the heart of everything we do.
The story of Emmaus began in Paris in 1949 when the first Emmaus community was founded by Father Henri-Antoine Grouès, better known as Abbé Pierre.
Abbé Pierre was an MP, Catholic priest and former member of the French Resistance who fought to provide homes for those who lived on the streets of Paris. In 1951, Abbé Pierre resigned as an MP to devote himself to fighting homelessness and poverty.
After the first Emmaus community was launched, many more opened across France. Abbé Pierre became an international figure and travelled the world spreading the word about Emmaus, leading to new communities being set up on four continents. The first Emmaus community in the UK, Emmaus Cambridge, opened in 1991.
Emmaus South Manchester is at a similar stage to where the volunteers were in Cambridge some 30 or so years ago. Watch this inspiring film below to learn more about how the Emmaus concept arrived in the UK.