Emmaus Village Carlton: giving homeless people a community

With the help of loan finance from Charity Bank, homeless charity Emmaus Village Carlton has been able to refurbish its bistro and retail space. As a result, its income has doubled and it’s been able to increase the number of bedrooms it offers by over 50%.

Social Problem

Homelessness often goes hand-in-hand with other challenges, such as mental health issues, long-term unemployment, addictions and social isolation.


Emmaus Village Carlton offers accommodation, work experience and the chance to be part of a supportive community. Each ‘companion’ volunteers at the charity’s retail space or bistro. Companions are able to gain new skills and qualifications, tackle addictions and mental health issues, and, ultimately, reintegrate into society.


The charity has taken out three loans with Charity Bank – totalling £600,000. The loans have helped Emmaus Village Carlton to improve its bistro and retail space – enabling the charity to double its annual income to £1 million. With the extra income, Emmaus Village Carlton has been able to build a further 15 bedrooms and can now accommodate 42 people at any one time. It’s also been able to build up healthy reserves.

Social Impact

By moving away from grant reliance, Emmaus Village Carlton has been able to expand its service provision and ensure its future sustainability. The charity does far more than just offering a place to sleep – it gives people the chance to regain their self-esteem and become a valued member of a community. While companions move on when they’re ready to take the next step towards independence, they know the charity is always there to offer advice or support if they need it.

“The loans have made us a much more confident organisation than we otherwise would be. Other finance providers may have tried to force us to change our values to meet their requirements, but Charity Bank has never expected us to be something that we’re not. We’re close to capacity now, so may look to take out another loan with Charity Bank for a new site in another town.”

Colin Bramall, Trustee, Emmaus Village Carlton

“You can’t underestimate the feeling of finally having a safe place of your own. Regular mental health support on top of that meant that day-by-day, things gradually started to get better. Work gave me a routine after the chaos of my life beforehand. Suddenly I had a reason to get up in the morning. I now live nearby in supported housing. I come back to volunteer every week. Emmaus helped me get back on my own two feet and I’ll always be grateful.”

Former companion, Emmaus Village Carlton
Homelessness Support

Last reviewed: 28/04/2020