Emmaus Bradford has taken ownership of a former residential care home on Pollard Lane in Bradford, where it hopes to offer a lifeline to people sleeping rough or sofa surfing in the district.

The charity plans to open an Emmaus community there, providing long-term accommodation alongside training and work experience in the charity’s reuse shops. The staffed community will help people to regain the skills and confidence to move on independently when they are ready. The charity hopes to support 8 people into the property this year, while it raises funds to provide 18 more rooms as soon as possible.

Emmaus Bradford will be the 30th Emmaus community in the UK, providing work, daily support and training to people who have experienced homelessness. Emmaus Bradford will be the fourth community in Yorkshire following in the footsteps of Emmaus Leeds, Emmaus Hull and Emmaus Sheffield.

The charity operates two reuse shops on Sunbridge Road and Cross Lane, Great Horton, providing a free collection service for people who have furniture or white goods to give away. The shops are helping to reduce waste in the district by diverting thousands of household items, including furniture, clothes, furnishings, toys and electricals, to people at very affordable prices. The charity also gives items away in solidarity to people in need, and provides clothes and winter items to rough sleepers.

Fran Graham, General Manager at Emmaus Bradford, said: “Everyone deserves to be valued, to have a safe place to sleep, and opportunities to wake up to. The sooner we can refurbish the property, the sooner we can start to make a difference, so we’re asking volunteers, tradespeople and businesses in the area to help if they can, with decorating, repairs, equipment or furnishings. Please get in touch if you can help.”

Dr Keith Manchester, a neighbour, said, “Emmaus Bradford will offer a second chance and a brighter future for some of Bradford’s most vulnerable residents, which can only be a good thing. Sometimes people just need kindness and a helping hand.”

Fran added: “The community is not a temporary bed for the night, it will provide a community for as long as people need it, and give companions the time and space to thrive after living hand to mouth.”

To help or find out more about joining our new community, please contact Emmaus Bradford at emmausbradford@outlook.com or by calling 01274 945270. You can donate to Emmaus Bradford by visiting our donations page here.