Ten new bedrooms created by charity for homeless this Christmas
- Credit: SARAH BROWN
A Norfolk charity which provides a home and work for people on the streets has created new bedrooms for those in need.
The Norfolk & Waveney branch of Emmaus offers people who have been homeless a place to live for as long as is needed and the opportunity to gain new skills through its charity shops in Norwich, Ditchingham, south Norfolk and Bungay, Suffolk.
It has just unveiled 10 new bedrooms at its Ditchingham premises, in a converted convent. Each includes a female-friendly area with private toilet facilities. These are designed to help homeless women, many coping with physical or sexual abuse.
Beccles kitchen company Creative Interiors by Design donated two kitchens for the new accommodation area.
One of the kitchens has been fitted in a communal area while the second has gone into a staff area for the live-in support workers. Located on the former site of the All Hallows Community Convent, Emmaus Norfolk and Waveney first opened its doors to 'companions', the name given to those living within its community, in 2011.
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The increase in capacity means that the charity can now support 32 homeless people, giving them the opportunity to rebuild their lives in a stable environment.
Cecile Roberts, director of Emmaus Norfolk and Waveney, said: “The creation of 10 new bedrooms means we can offer a way out of homelessness to even more people here in Norfolk.
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"We’ve been providing homes and work to homeless people for nine years, and our experience has shown us that there is a real need for female-only facilities, giving homeless women somewhere to live where they feel completely safe.”
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 and Waveney supports up to 32 formerly homeless people and there are currently 29 Emmaus communities across the country, supporting more than 800 people.