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REGIONAL BACKGROUND Homelessness in Brighton and Hove is the highest per capita in the country, with one homeless person for every 1,500 residents (compared.

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Presentation on theme: "REGIONAL BACKGROUND Homelessness in Brighton and Hove is the highest per capita in the country, with one homeless person for every 1,500 residents (compared."— Presentation transcript:

1 REGIONAL BACKGROUND Homelessness in Brighton and Hove is the highest per capita in the country, with one homeless person for every 1,500 residents (compared to London's 2,500). High property prices combined with a low average income has resulted in many people being unable to afford housing. The reasons for homelessness are complex and manifold: relationship breakdown, unemployment, drug addiction or alcoholism, mental illness, moving to a new country, a distrust of authority, and many more causes which frequently overlap. Often people become trapped in a cycle of homelessness, finding housing but returning to the streets when the loneliness and isolation becomes unbearable. For some, it is better to be back in the street community than in a flat on their own. PROJECT BACKGROUND AND AIMS The first Emmaus Community was started in France in the early 1950's by the Abbé Pierre. Appalled by the number of homeless people on the streets of Paris, he formed a community of companions. He recognised the need for solidarity, for people to be united in a common purpose, and also the importance of enabling people in difficulty to help others. There are now over 300 communities world-wide, the majority in France and mainland Europe. Emmaus Communities enable people to move on from homelessness, providing work and a home in a supportive, family environment. Companions, as residents are known, work full time collecting and reselling donated furniture. Sussex Emmaus was set up in 1996 when an ideal building was found in the former St Mary's Convent in Portslade, Hove. Here Emmaus is creating a community of up to forty-two companions, who earn their livings working in the various small businesses on site, including two shops where unwanted items are collected and restored, a garden centre, and a café. The basic principle is to help homeless people to help themselves, through creating their own communities and work. This helps with raising self- esteem, giving new hope, purpose and dignity. Its effectiveness has been shown in the breaking of many cycles of dependency, including drug and alcohol addiction. No questions are asked about a companion's past history. They have complete assurance that what they choose to reveal about themselves is entirely up to them. They can stay and make the community their home for as long as they desire. All that is required of them is that they enter into the spirit and work of the community to the best of their ability. HOW YOU HAVE HELPED The money that you and others have given through The Besom has gone towards the refurbishment of the kitchen in a small two-bedroomed cottage in the grounds, where two Companions will live semi- independently at any given time. This will hopefully help their eventual transition from Emmaus back into independent living in society. SUSSEX EMMAUS Kitchen refurbishment for small cottage, Hove, Sussex THE BESOM sweep away suffering Registered Charity No UK 529 Sussex Emmaus -.the grounds where Emmaus Companions live A mattress is collected by Companions for re-use


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