Community spirit at Emmaus Bristol
With the season of goodwill well underway we wanted to take a minute to shine the light on the work of Emmaus Bristol. A charity which does an amazing job of helping people out of homelessness and is also our Noble Deeds pro-bono programme winner this year.
Of course, homelessness is a very real issue all year round, not just at Christmas. As we were reminded by Emmaus Bristol’s Xanne Carey, speaking at our five year birthday event recently.
Originally founded by Abbe Pierre in France after WWII, to give homeless men a place to stay and help them create work by collecting and selling unwanted goods (an early form of ‘rag and bone’ men), the charity now has 30 centres across the UK.
Still at the core of Emmaus now – Emmaus Bristol helps thirty formerly homeless people and four families with long term support, providing them with a home and meaningful work through its warehousing and house clearance business.
Remaining a huge problem both nationally and in Bristol, 55% of people who come to Emmaus Bristol are rough sleepers, having been living on the streets for an average of a year and a half. Sadly, this is just the tip of the iceberg with street homelessness accounting for only 2% of people without a place to call home in the UK. The rest of the people in this situation are classed as ‘unseen homeless’ sleeping on floors, sofa surfing or in temporary accommodation. With these figures even more alarming owing to the fact they include families and young children.
Emmaus Bristol supports the people and families it works with in so many ways from creating a community where they can thrive and regain a sense of self-esteem and purpose through paid work, to helping with long-term plans for moving on and integrating back into society.
If you want to help Emmaus Bristol continue carrying out its vital work in supporting members of our community out of poverty and homelessness, please visit the charity’s website to find out more and, if possible, make a donation.