Helping Oxford’s rough sleepers
A group of our formerly homeless Emmaus companions is volunteering every week to offer help...
Every Thursday between 5.30pm and 7.30pm, homeless people are offered free food, supplies and advice from a special stall set up by our companions in front of the Emmaus community building at 171 Oxford Road.
The volunteer group includes Gary Putt (pictured) who was homeless for six months before he came to Emmaus:
I used to work in furniture restoration, but when I lost my job it wasn’t long before I also lost my home. With nowhere to go, I ended up living in my car for months. I know how it feels to be without a home; if we can help those who are sleeping rough, even a little bit, then it’s a job well done."
Every Thursday we spend hours preparing. We cook a huge meal and try to vary it each week: quality, comforting food like shepherd’s pie or pasta bake. We fill boxes with warm clothing, underwear, waterproof shoes, camping equipment and toiletries. It started off with one or two people turning up each time, but sadly there are so many people in Oxford without a home and so the need is greater than ever.
Each week, people turn up and we offer them the food and drinks, as well as supplies. We’re often meeting people at their lowest point, so we talk to them and find out what they need, and signpost other sources of support too.
Anyone wishing to help Emmaus Oxford’s weekly rough sleeper support, please support us by donating: camping equipment (especially two-man tents, roll mats and winter sleeping bags) as well as warm clothing such as waterproof coats, footwear, socks, underpants, hats, gloves and scarves. Please drop off supplies at the Emmaus store at 242 Barns Road, Cowley which is open Monday - Saturday 9.30am - 5pm and Sunday 10am - 4pm.