What we do
Emmaus Communities enable people to move on from homelessness, providing work and a home in a supportive, family environment. Companions, as residents are known, work full time collecting renovating and reselling donated furniture. This work supports the Community financially and enables residents to develop skills and rebuild their self-respect. Watch a short film about Emmaus (via Youtube) or read more about what we do.
Who we are
People become homeless for many different reasons but relationship breakdown, bereavement, addiction or abuse have often played a part. Emmaus Companions come from many different backgrounds but share a commitment to rebuilding their lives and participating in the life and work of Communities. Read more about who we are, including stories of some of our Companions, information about others involved with Emmaus and the values that bring us together.
Where we are
There are currently 24 Communities open in the UK and more in development (known as Emmaus Groups). In addition, the Emmaus UK Federation is part of an international Movement with more than 300 projects in over 40 countries worldwide. Read more about where we are.
Joining a Community
Are you homeless or at risk of homelessness? Or a referral agency working with someone who is looking for a supportive place to live and work? Read more about living and working in an Emmaus Community then find out about how to join an Emmaus Community. Please note that we are not a religious organisation and welcome people of any faith, or none.
History and development
The Emmaus Movement was started in France in the 1940s, founded by a priest, MP and hero of the Resistance, known as Abbe Pierre. Appalled by the poverty and homelessness that he saw around him that he opened his own home to 18 homeless men. These men supported themselves by refurbishing other people¹s rubbish, and became known as the rag pickers of Emmaus. Gradually new communities were established in France and around the world. The first UK community was set up in Cambridge in 1992. More about Emmaus' history.