Emmaus is a homelessness charity with a difference. We don’t just give people a bed for the night; we offer a home, meaningful work and a sense of belonging.For many people who have experienced homelessness, losing their self-esteem can be the most damaging part of their experience. Being on your own, with no support around you can be soul destroying, leaving you feeling worthless.
Finding your way out of that situation isn’t easy, particularly when the only options available are temporary fixes, offering a bed for the night but little to occupy your days. Emmaus is different because it provides a home for as long as someone needs it, in an Emmaus community. This gives people the opportunity to take stock of their lives, deal with any issues they might have, and often re-establish relationships with loved ones.
“Companion” is the name given to those who live in an Emmaus community and work in the social enterprise, where they support themselves and one another. There are currently 750 companions living at 29 Emmaus communities across the UK.
Rather than relying on benefits, Emmaus uses social enterprise to generate revenue that pays for companions' home, food and upkeep, as well as providing a small weekly allowance. This is key to restoring feelings of self-worth, showing companions that their actions make a real difference, both to their own life, and the lives of others.
Bradford, like all large cities, has a significant homelessness problem which is addressed largely by temporary shelters or temporary housing thus not providing a long-term solution to the problem. Emmaus Bradford has initiated an ambitious plan to implement the Emmaus model to address this issue.
Emmaus Bradford is at an early stage of development, currently operating one successful charity superstore in a former cinema at Cross Lane. The key objective within the next 3 years is to secure the residential accommodation required to set up a community – thus providing both work (in the charity shop) and a home for the homeless. En route to achieving this we are opening a new charity shop in an impressive building right in the heart of the city.
We do house clearances and are increasing online sales. We also provide an important outreach service for housing associationa whose tenants require furnishings or white goods. We are keen to expand our retail activities so we are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers with an interest in retail, online sales or furntiure removals.