Local homelessness charity, Emmaus Bradford, has received a £50K loan from Big Issue Invest, the investment arm of The Big Issue. Bradford, like many large cities, has a significant homelessness problem which is addressed largely by temporary shelters or temporary housing. Emmaus Bradford takes a different approach by providing both accommodation and work experience for as long as is needed, together with training and counselling to help people to recover, become financially independent in the future and build up self-respect.
The charity currently operates two successful charity shops in Bradford, on Bank Street and Cross Lane. The funding from Big Issue Invest has helped Emmaus to secure Pollard House which will be used as residential accommodation. Emmaus Bradford will then be able to provide both meaningful work (in the charity shops) and a home for people in need.
Emmaus Bradford is one of 33 Emmaus groups and communities that form part of Emmaus UK. Like any flourishing community, Emmaus is most successful when everyone makes a contribution. For Emmaus, that means volunteering together in the social enterprise, to generate funds needed to support the community and the people that will call it home. This approach has a huge impact on restoring self-esteem as companions take responsibility for keeping their community going, working to support themselves and others.
The charity’s holistic approach provides people with:
- A home for as long as it is needed
- Meaningful work in a social enterprise
- Personalised support with training and development opportunities so that people can realise their potential and aspirations.
Once funding has been achieved to install 16 new bathrooms Emmaus Bradford will be able to provide 25 adults with accommodation for as long as they need it and support them to move on to live well independently when they are ready. Emmaus Bradford is looking for support from corporate partners to support the refurbishment and ongoing maintenance of the property with time or resources, and for corporate partners with surplus household items such as new beds, bathroom fittings, bedding, and materials for decorating.
Danyal Sattar, CEO of Big Issue Invest, said: “I have known Emmaus for decades now. It is great to see the work continue with Emmaus Bradford’s new centre and I’m pleased we were able to support them. The work it does through providing work in it is social enterprises as part of a holistic support offer for people who have been made homeless and need a way back, is invaluable.”