People who have lived the reality of life on the streets have shared their stories to mark World Homeless Day.
Emmaus Bristol is hoping that by revealing some of the real tales behind those who have been homeless, it will highlight a growing issue across the city, as well as celebrating those who have gone on to re-build their lives.
World Homeless Day on Tuesday, October 10 aims to draw attention to the needs of homeless people in local communities and, in turn, respond to homelessness across the globe,
“I dread to think what would have become of me if there had been no Emmaus, I probably would’ve ended up on the street,” says Jane, who has been supported by Emmaus.
“I think I would have been in real trouble if they had only offered me a stay of, say, six to 12 months like other places do. You do need the time to recover and make plans to rebuild your life when it has caved in on you.”
Emmaus Bristol supports formerly homeless people by giving them a home, meaningful work in a social enterprise and an opportunity to regain lost self-esteem and to help rebuild their lives.
The charity has gained funding from the European Regional Development Fund to set up a business incubator in Bristol which offers the people who have been homeless the opportunity to start up their own business within the city.
Steve Mcnought, a business incubator tenant, says: “Emmaus Bristol is an organisation that believes in the power of positive change, giving real hope and opportunity to those who the rest of society rejects.”
Steve, who now runs a number of publishing enterprises, all seeking to work with people from disadvantaged backgrounds, was once homeless himself.
He adds: “Thanks to the incubator and the passionate support of the people behind it, I went on to found a successful enterprise that is going on to support other marginalised people in the city. There is no doubt that, without Emmaus Bristol, this would not have been possible.”
Emmaus Bristol is always on the look out for people to get involved. It can be as simple as donating your pre-loved furniture, clothing or bric-a-brac, or picking up a bargain at one of the charity’s shops.
If you have a business or social enterprise idea, but no office to start it from and with limited resources, get in touch with Peter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
All images thanks to Emmaus Bristol.