News — Colchester Homeless Charity to Pop-up in City Centre for World Homeless Day


Emmaus Colchester, a charity supporting people who have experienced homelessness, is running a pop-up event in Culver Square this World Homeless Day, Tuesday 10th October. 

The event, ‘A Sofa is Not a Home’ will highlight the increase in hidden homelessness across the country and the work that Emmaus is doing locally to support people who are experiencing and at risk of homelessness. The charity will move a living room set into Culver Square to highlight the issue of sofa surfing and other forms of hidden homelessness. 

Emmaus Colchester offers up to 31 people a home for as long as they need it in their custom-built accommodation on Magdalen Street and flat on Colchester High Street. Since the cost-of-living crisis, Emmaus has seen an increase in referrals to its charity and it predicts a similar pattern this winter. 

People who are experiencing hidden homelessness may be sleeping in their cars, on a relative’s sofa, or living in extremely overcrowded conditions. The English Housing Survey found that between 2011 and 2021 there were 538,000 households in the UK that had someone staying with them who would have otherwise been homeless. [English Housing Survey, 2022] 

Brian Cooke, CEO of Emmaus Suffolk says, “This World Homeless Day, we want to shine a light on the types of homelessness the public may not be aware of because it’s not happening in doorways or on the high street. We also want to highlight the work Emmaus is doing to stop the cycle of homelessness by offering a home for as long as it is needed, we have residents who have lived with us for many years and are able to recover from trauma and rebuild their lives. We encourage everyone to come and have a chat with us in Culver Square and hang out in our pop-up living room.”

This year Emmaus Colchester is celebrating its 15th Anniversary. The charity first opened in 2008 and since then has supported over 500 people with a home, training opportunities, and meaningful work in the charity’s social enterprises. To support the charity for the next 15 years, Emmaus has launched a fundraising campaign, that will help them to open an on-site gym at the charity’s accommodation. Donations can be made to the fundraiser on Emmaus’ website here:

Emmaus Colchester will be in Culver Square from 11 am – 2 pm on the 10th of October, with staff and residents who live at Emmaus, on hand to discuss the charity’s work. 

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