Emmaus Brighton and Hove was founded in 1997 and provides a safe home, training and rehabilitation to 48 companions, the name they give their residents, who are all men and women over the age of 18. The community is one of 25 in the UK and originated from France by Abbe Piere in the 1940s.
Emmaus is a homelessness charity with a difference. They provide each companion with their own room, with shared bathroom and kitchen facilities and are expected to do 40 hours of work, or as many as they can manage, a week. They are signed off of all benefits except housing benefit and it is a great way of raising self-esteem and give their companions a chance to regain control of their life. The aim of this is so the community eventually becomes self-sufficient, supporting itself through the work they do. Emmaus is currently working towards the target of 750 companion places by 2017, an already they have provided a home and meaningful work to around 623 formerly homeless people.
Emmaus Brighton and Hove has many stores located around Brighton and Hove to raise money for the charity, for every £1 spent, £11 is returned to the community in investment. Emporium and Secondhand Superstore boast a great collection of second hand goods. Revive in Portslade serves breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea and The Greenhouse provides inspiration for gardeners, as well as many more stores around Brighton and Hove.
At Emmaus, volunteers, or friends as they are called, work alongside the companions and staff on the grounds and help them with everyday tasks. Some friends have been there for a long time, some for smaller projects but the companions value the friends help and support, and have found friendship through this. They also have the Goodwill Co-Op, which is a volunteer-led project where creative and like-minded individuals meet and share stories and skills, all whilst trying to reduce the landfills by recycling and reusing unwanted goods. This also raises the profile of Emmaus as they sell the things they create from unwanted goods.
If you would like to become a friend of Emmaus Brighton and Hove, or would like to find out more about what they do, head to http://www.emmaus.org.uk/brighton_hove for more information. If you have a charity that you think we should write about for Charity Tuesday, comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org