Emmaus communities provide a home and meaningful work to people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion.
Most offer between 20 and 40 places for people to live. Once someone joins an Emmaus community, they are known as an Emmaus companion.
There are currently 28 Emmaus communities spread across the UK, supporting more than 700 formerly homeless people. There are also four Emmaus groups working to set up new communities to help us to reach our target of offering at least 1,000 companion places by 2020.
Unlike a lot of provision for homeless people, Emmaus communities offer a home for as long as someone needs it. Emmaus companions get a room of their own, food, clothing and a small weekly allowance. In return, we ask:
- that companions work for 40 hours per week, or give as much time as they are able, in the community's social enterprise;
- that they behave in a respectful way towards one another;
- that no alcohol or illegal drugs are used on the premises;
- that they sign off all benefits, with the exception of housing benefit.
Although living in a community isn’t for everyone, it can offer the companionship and support that many people who have experienced homelessness have lost. This can be key to helping someone to stop, take stock, and start to regain a sense of control and stability in their lives.
Joining an Emmaus community
If you are currently homeless, or if you know someone who could benefit from support from Emmaus, get in touch with your local community. They will be able to tell you if they have spaces available and if they are able to meet your individual needs.