About the Organisation
Emmaus supports formerly homeless people by giving them a home, meaningful work in a social enterprise and an opportunity to get back on their feet again, opening in 1999. For many people who experience homelessness, one of the biggest obstacles they must overcome is a loss of self-esteem. Emmaus provides an opportunity to regain this, with a chance to make a real contribution to their community. Emmaus communities are not just hostels for the homeless; they provide a home for as long as someone needs it. For many, this support and stability is like the family they don’t have, providing a safe environment in which to settle and rebuild their lives.
Often this is an opportunity to overcome issues such as addiction, get support with mental health issues, or rebuild relationships with estranged family. Social enterprise is central to the Emmaus model as it provides meaningful work for companions but also generates funding to maintain communities. Companions living in Emmaus communities are expected to sign off all benefits, with the exception of housing benefit which is used to help support the community. The rest of the funding that is needed is generated through social enterprise and fundraising.
Emmaus communities deliver a significant return on investment. Research shows that for every £1 invested in a community, there is an £11 social, environmental and economic return, with savings to the benefits bill, health services, and a reduction in crime. In summary, An Emmaus community is one of workers. Being self-sufficient is important in many ways, having a job is purposeful, they know they have earned the food on their plate, the bed they sleep in and the roof over their heads. Supporting this approach is also our environmental mission, we intercept as many items as possible from ending up in landfill, and up-cycle, repair, recycle and resell – this is predominately how we fund our homeless support.
Emmaus Colchester have a small room located within their main building (around 12ft by 12ft) that has external door access only and was formally a wood chip store for their heating system. The charity feels this is an unused space and following consultation with the community they would like to turn it into a small gym room that is also accessible internally.
Emmaus Colchester would welcome architectural / engineering advice with drawings to realise their plans, ensuring they are compliant with building regs and to understand the costings. The information will support them with their fundraising application.