Community life

When someone joins our Emmaus community as a companion, they are offered with a home for as long as they need and the opportunity to gain new skills in our second-hand charity shops. 

A home for as long as needed

Each companion has an individual bedroom and lives in the community with all meals provided in a communal dining room and normal living expenses are covered. Each person receives a weekly charitable allowance to pay for any extras.

Health and Wellbeing 

Companions are encouraged to register with the local doctor and to visit the local dentist and optician as appropriate. Healthcare, including prescriptions, are usually provided free of charge.

Work Experience

Once accepted as a companion, a person has to sign off any benefits they may have been receiving such as income support, jobseekers allowance or incapacity benefit. Unlike hostels, Emmaus companions work a 40-hour week and have two days off a week, a long weekend after three months, and a week's holiday after six months. Once a Companion has been with the Community for over six months they receive 20 days holiday along with Public holidays.

There are a few rules which include no alcohol or illegal drugs are allowed on the premises.


Appropriate free training is provided in health and safety, manual handling, basic food hygiene and other subjects as relevant. Opportunities are provided to access other courses, many of which are local and free. Companions can take on positions of responsibility within the Community such as team leaders, duty team members and 'Community Assistants' who assist the Community Leader.

Most companions stay for at least a few months but some leave after a short time and others stay for years.

Personal Development

At Emmaus Greenwich not only do we provide a home for as long as someone needs and work experience in our shops, but we strive to support men and woman who have experienced homelessness in all areas of their life. To do this, we plan regular development days and invite inspirational and motivational speakers to our community.

Past and upcoming speakers iinclude the youngest British woman to climb Everest (2010 -2012) Bonita Norris, Magic Lantern Art and Arsenal and England football legend, Tony Adams MBE.

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