About Emmaus

Emmaus is a homelessness charity providing a home and work for people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion.

We provide a home for as long as someone needs it, all alongside meaningful work in our social enterprise. Living in a stable environment with work enables our companions to regain self respect and get back on their feet.

How it works 

Emmaus is a world-wide organisation. There are currently 29 communities across the UK, providing a home and meaningful work for more than 750 formerly homeless people. There are communities from Glasgow to Dover, with many successful cafés, shops, gardening projects and removal companies. Together, we're aiming for 1,000 companion places by 2020.

Like any flourishing community, Emmaus is most successful when everyone makes a contribution. For us, that means working together in the social enterprise to generate the funds needed to support the community. 

Companions are expected to work 40 hours a week in the charity's social enterprise. They sign off all benefits, except housing benefit. The ultimate goal is for each community to become self-sufficient - the revenue generated enables the community to thrive.

The Emmaus model has a huge impact on restoring confidence. Companions take responsibility and work hard to keep their community going and help others.

Emmaus is a hand up - we equip people with the tools to help themselves. This approach has a proven track record, with long-term, sustainable results. For the many people who have been stuck in a cycle of homelessness, Emmaus gives the space and support they need to take stock of their lives and make positive changes.

Our impact

For every £1 spent with Emmaus there is an £11 social, economic and environmental return on investment.

This social return on investment study shows that we make a significant impact, delivering massive savings to the healthcare system, a reduction in crime and re-offending, as well as savings to the benefits bill.

Read the full report here.


A desire to help others less fortunate than ourselves is at the heart of everything we do. Solidarity is central to the Emmaus way of life. Everyone, from companions to staff and from trustees to volunteers, is encouraged to support those less fortunate than ourselves. When companions make a difference in someone's life, their confidence and self-worth grow. Every week, we take soup, sandwiches, toiletries, warm clothing and sleeping bags out to rough sleepers in Gloucester. Our companions also join teams to support Emmaus projects in Romania and India.

Emmaus in the world

Emmaus is an international movement which started in France in the 1940s. There are now more than 300 groups in 36 countries across the world. The UK is the largest Emmaus movement outside France.

Find out more about the history of Emmaus and the work of Emmaus International

Our stories

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