In the decade since we first opened we have achieved our core aim of establishing a home and work for 23 previously homeless people. Support for the project has been from a very diverse number of funding and grant making bodies including private donations, company donations and a huge number of private individuals.
The first Emmaus community was founded in Paris, in 1949, by Father Henri-Antoine Grouès, better known as Abbé Pierre. He was an MP, Catholic priest and former member of the French Resistance who fought to provide homes for those who lived on the streets of Paris.
Emmaus Bristol is a member of the Federation of Emmaus Communities, which are now spread across the world. The aim of Emmaus is to turn charity on its head. It not only offers homeless people the opportunity to help themselves, but to help others – it is the latter which allows the rediscovery of a sense of purpose in life.
At a time of continued homelessness in this country and tragedy and destruction elsewhere in the world, Emmaus is as relevant today as ever. Below are two companions talking about what they do at Emmaus Bristol, and how we’ve helped transform their lives.