Emmaus project to help homeless people opens in Burnley

Chairman Peter Pike with staff and companions at the new Emmaus Project in Burnley. B190111 Photo Ben Parsons
Chairman Peter Pike with staff and companions at the new Emmaus Project in Burnley. B190111 Photo Ben Parsons

A PROJECT to help homeless people from across East Lancashire get back on their feet has opened its doors in Burnley.

Emmaus Burnley, which was first mooted six years ago, welcomed its first two residents, which the charity calls “companions” to its base in Old Hall Street this week.

Chairman Mr Peter Pike said he was pleased the first phase of the scheme had come to fruition.

Currently 11 rooms are open for homeless people and 13 more will become available.

Mr Pike said the charity is also in discussions with the Roman Catholic Church to buy the Ivy Street building formerly occupied by St John’s Infants’ School. He said bosses from Emmaus would like to buy the building to set up a trading facility where the people living in Emmaus House could earn money by selling donated furniture.

He said: “Since September 2005 we’ve raised quite a lot of money. We’ve still got to raise £500,000 to complete the project and buy St John’s in Ivy Street. I would like to be able to buy it but we still need to raise more money.

“We also want to provide a drop-in facility for later this year so people can access information, or have a meal or a shower.

“There’s a need for it in East Lancashire. We don’t allow any alcohol or drugs on the site but for people who, for one reason or another, have suffered a family break-down, ex-servicemen and others who have got themselves into a downward spiral, we give them the opportunity of rebuilding their lives and moving back upwards.”

An open day for people in Burnley to look around the project will take place on Saturday, February 5th.