Homeless charity appeals for support as freeze continues

Emmaus house, Brighton

Emmaus house, Brighton

Homeless charity Emmaus has put out an appeal for support this week, as the UK and Ireland continue in the grip of the coldest weather in 30 years.

The charity said in a statement: "For those who live on our streets, every night is a battle, often with sub-zero temperatures, wind, snow, sleet or rain. The average life expectancy of a homeless person in the UK is just 42 years – 32 years less than the average for a male. The fact is this: people are dying on our streets."

Emmaus, founded by Abbe Pierre, in France, is like no other homeless organisation in the UK. It doesn't just provide food and accommodation.  Residents in Emmaus houses come off benefits and take part in the running of their communities, working full-time collecting, renovating and reselling donated furniture. This supports them financially and enables them to develop new skills and regain their self-respect.

The charity aims to have an Emmaus Community in every town and city where there is a need. For more information, or to make a donation, see:  www.coldestnights.co.uk