In August 2020, Ade transitioned from a companion into an Emmaus North East employee. Ade is now a valued member of the team and works as one of our van drivers.

How did you first become homeless and what was it like?

I came out of prison and had nowhere to go. I ended up in Brighton and it was very different. You have to look after yourself, protect yourself and try not to be to vulnerable. After a while on the streets you get into a system. You work out where to find food and eventually I realised you can find help and support. This is when your life changes. I had no issues with drugs or alcohol and this helped me in Emmaus.

How long were you a companion at Emmaus North East?

9 years. It would have been 10 years in November 2020.

What was the application process for the driver job?

I found out through our Managers. I was applying for work anyway before I knew the Emmaus job was coming up. Community Leader John Harrison asked me if I would be interested in the job advertised and after an interview it went from there.

How long have you been doing the job?

6 months

What parts of the job do you enjoy most?

I enjoy keeping the customers happy and delivering a good service. I also like having a companion with me and them knowing they can progress and go into staff roles like me. I can be a positive role model and example.

What does it mean to you to now be employed and working for Emmaus?

It’s a new lease of life. You have more belief in yourself and self-worth. Its hard to explain but it is great.

How did you find your current private accommodation?

Fantastic, great. The landlord is good and the accommodation is good. It is quiet

When did you move in?

May 28th 2020.

What are you enjoying most about being in private accommodation?

Apart from the peace and quiet? You have that stability and a sense of normality. I feel myself again, sometimes in Emmaus you get stuck in a bit of a bubble.

How does living in private accommodation make you feel?

Happier. I’m not lonely, but it can be. In Emmaus people are around 24/7. But it is worthwhile as you have a job to come into and your own space. If I did not have a job it would be very different. If I was not in this job would remain a companion

Do you have any plans or goals for the future?

I passed my mentoring suicide social care 2/3 and I’m doing my drug and alcohol course. I would like to go into a support role. I’m starting at the bottom and when other positions come up you can go into another role.

Any final words or reflections on your experience with Emmaus?

It has been good, bad, happy, sad. Lost friends. If it was not for Emmaus I don’t know where I would be. Also when you travel through the Emmaus communities you have to slip into the right one at the right time. It is about finding your niche and the employment opportunities. It’s not for everyone but would recommend it to everyone who asks.

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