Greater Manchester Homelessness Oct 2016

Emmaus Salford Helps Karl Regain Confidence

Karl is a member of staff at Emmaus Salford, a homelessness charity that CRASH has been working with for a number of years.

Karl tells his story about how Emmaus helped him back on his feet and regain his confidence:

I worked in a steady job for about 12 years and was unfortunately made redundant. A lot of things happened in my life all at once and I went off the rails a little bit. I lost my house and started sofa-surfing with friends but after a while they get a bit sick of you. Then you find yourself stopping with people you don’t want to.

I ended up taking a job far away from where I had lived, driving a recovery waggon, and moved up there lock stock and barrel. Six months into that job the company lost a major contract so I got laid off again. I was left in a strange town, I didn’t know anybody and everything started to go wrong.

I used to be a chef many years ago and so the job club I attended tried to push me towards this. I got a work trial, did a day’s work and the supervisor said I’d got the job. I then did a week and was told that this was my work trial and I wouldn’t get paid. I did another week, working 10am till 10pm, 6 days a week, and when I did get paid it was for 40 hours on minimum wage.

The supervisor was clearly exploiting me and other job seekers so I left the job but was penalised by the benefits system. I successfully appealed but this process took four months. In the mean time I had no work, no money coming in and ended up visiting soup kitchens.

Luckily whilst at one soup kitchen I got chatting to a vicar’s wife who had recently visited an Emmaus community. She said it would be ideal for me and kindly put me forward. I joined Emmaus Preston and soon after, found full-time work. Unfortunately this didn’t work out so I joined another Emmaus community to get some stability back in my life.

I gained skills, experience and confidence working at a few different Emmaus communities before joining Emmaus Salford as a core companion (a more experienced community member) in August 2014. With the knowledge and experience I’ve gained over the years I managed to put into place here a lot of the things I picked up and it seemed to work.

Karl

Member of staff at Emmaus Salford

It’s a hard working community this one. People get on with the job, don’t moan much and mostly get on very well with each other. We keep everyone busy, people do a mix of roles and that’s one of the main things. There’s a good feeling about the place and a good community spirit.

Ever since I moved to Emmaus Salford I’ve loved it here. I’ve been given responsibility and an opportunity to get on with doing the job. The original idea was to stay for three months, get a job back out on the waggons and leave, but Emmaus has pulled me in.

I’m now a full-time member of staff at Emmaus Salford. I work as the Services Supervisor and started the role at the beginning of June 2016. A lot of what I’m doing now I already put into place when I was a companion but now I have the chance to do more and make the social enterprise even stronger.

The social impact

The best thing about getting this job is that it’s allowed me to get my life back. I’ve cleared my debt, got my own flat close to where I work and I’m seeing my family more regularly. I’m enjoying what I do and excited for the future.

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