Monday, 20 April 2009

Emmaus Shop Opening

On Saturday I attended the opening of Emmaus' new shop in Rugby Town centre. I first became aware of Emmaus about three years ago when I was Housing Portfolio Holder at Rugby Borough Council; they are are charity supporting the homeless whose objective is simply described by their slogan "Providing a bed and a reason to get out of it." I visited their site in Carlton Bedfordshire where they provide not only accomodation for homeless people but also a workshop repairing old furniture and a second hand shop with a restaurant. All of the work is done by residents and this provides a sense of self respect and purpose for people who circumstances have caused them to be without a home. In Rugby things are just getting started with the shop the first stage. The opening was by Terry Waite who is a supporter of Emmaus, who told a great story about his time in captivity in the Middle East. His captors told him that they would be moving him and tied him up with packaing tape and blindfold, he was put in the boot of a car. He was surprised to feel the arm of another person already there. He exclaimed "not much room in here for two of us!" and the reply came back, "it was all right until you got in!" That was his inroduction to John McCarthy.