One homelessness charity has reported a rise in the number of people needing its services.
Emmaus, which supports people who were formerly homeless a place to live and employment in a social enterprise, has seen its waiting list increase by 30% and referrals increased by 29% in the last year, reports 24dash.
The charity has found that 47% of people approach them as they will be offered the opportunity to work, whilst 78% of existing ‘companions’ say the opportunity to work is the most beneficial part of their Emmaus experience.
A report commissioned by the charity in 2012 also found that for every £1 invested in an established Emmaus community, £11 is generated in social, environmental and economic returns.
However with demand growing Emmaus say they need the support of donors and customers to keep the social enterprises going and to continue supporting the people who need it.
Simon Grainge, Emmaus’s chief operating officer, said: “We offer 623 beds from Brighton to Glasgow for those who find themselves homeless, and we plan to expand the number available to at least 750 by 2017. We know Emmaus has a lasting impact for many people and we want to be able to offer this opportunity to as many people as possible. All of the money we make in our shops goes back to support the people using our services and companions sign off all benefits, with the exception of housing benefit. Having a chance to do something for yourself is invaluable when it comes to restoring self-esteem, overcoming homelessness and gaining the skills that help companions with their future employment.”
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