Centre gives homeless chance to turn their lives around

A CENTRE which offers a home and work to people who have been forced to live on the streets has opened in Hastings.

Emmaus Hastings and Rother said the places have been quickly taken up by people keen to turn their lives around.

The charity aims to help people by offering not just a bed, but work and training, so that they can move on from homelessness.

In the last three years, Emmaus Hastings and Rother has raised funds to buy and develop the site, converting an old Southern Water warehouse and building a modular accommodation block.

Emmaus runs a shop at Whitworth Road, behind Sainsbury’s, selling donated furniture and household goods, collected and renovated by residents and an enthusiastic team of volunteers.

The shop has been running for two years but the new residents have transformed the project, working in the shop and warehouse, or the kitchen, or on the van collecting and delivering goods.

Emmaus has also been able to help needy families with furniture donations and offer work experience to local unemployed young people.

With seven residents already on site, the charity is now fundraising to increase the size of the accommodation block. The next phase, adding another six bedrooms, will open next spring. A final phase will take the community up to an eventual 23 beds.