“I was really bad with my money and I couldn’t pay my rent so I ended up homeless,” he said. “I was trying to get help through the council and they told me about Emmaus.
“These guys took me in, gave me a home and some work to do. You get to be part of a community which is great. They are really good people.”
Emmaus Coventry, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year, raises funds in a number of ways and enterprise manager Ian Mutch has the job of finding work for the companions and making sure the charity is as profitable as possible.
Stock that comes from donations and house clearances, including furniture, electricals, books, CDs and even bicycles, is sold online as well as in their Red Lane shop.
“It’s good that we can give these guys new skills and it’s always great to see the ticks in the boxes when people move on and how much they have achieved after what they have been through,” Ian said. “We lead by example. I wouldn’t ask the companions to do anything that I wouldn’t want to do myself.”
Companions are welcome at Emmaus for as long as they want to stay, but for most it is a temporary home.
Once they have signed off their benefits and feel fit to get back to work, companions can start to rebuild their lives.
For Jonny, Matt and Connor, Emmaus has been a lifeline.
With a new-found sense of pride and new skills, it will hopefully not be long before these men are back on their feet, and the work they have done with Emmaus will help the charity to provide the same care for others in the future.
The Emmaus shop can be found on Red Lane in Coventry. Get in contact with them at their website for more information on donating and the services they provide.