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Homelessness charity expanding by ten new rooms

L-R: Sales and Logistics Manager Jo Andrews, Former Emmaus companion now staff, Frazer Marr, and Chief Executive Cecile Roberts

Local homelessness charity Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney will be expanding its community home by ten rooms, meaning it can help even more people to overcome homelessness.

Emmaus offers people who have been homeless a place to live with no time limit and the opportunity to gain new skills in its Old Orchard Café and charity shops in Ditchingham and Bungay.

The expansion, which is expected to be completed in Autumn 2019, will see nine new residential rooms and one new staff bedroom. Included in the expansion will be a female-friendly area with private toilet facilities to support the reduction in numbers of women who are homeless or insecurely housed.

Increasing its capacity to 31 will provide the charity with the opportunity to offer even more vulnerable adults a chance to rebuild their lives in a stable environment with a reason to get out of bed in the morning through meaningful work.

Frazer was homeless from the age of 16 before coming to Emmaus in 2010 and is now in full-time employment and living independently in his own flat:

“I was homeless from the age of 16 and in quite a desperate place before I found Emmaus. What they offered me was amazing – a purpose through work, a home, and people to live with. When I was ready, Emmaus supported me while I detoxed off methadone and suddenly all these doors started opening for me. With the help of Emmaus, I went on to get my driving license and completed a two-year apprenticeship in site maintenance at Cambridge Regional College.

“Emmaus gave me a lifeline and without them I wouldn’t be able to now say that I’m living independently and working as a full-time paid van driver at Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney. I have finally been able to get my life back on track and for the community to be expanding to help even more people like me is brilliant.”

According to a report published by housing charity Shelter in December 2018, there were an estimated 601 homeless people in Norfolk with the majority living in temporary accommodation and 49 sleeping on the streets. Across the east of England, one in 306 people were homeless – the third-highest rate of England’s nine regions.

Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney has secured grants from Shelroy Charitable Trust, Caritas Alive in Faith, Clothworkers, The Public Interest Foundation, The RC Snelling Charitable Trust, Screwfix and Emmaus UK to fund its expansion and refurbishment.

To find out more about Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney, please visit: www.emmaus.org.uk/norfolk_waveney.

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