Homeless charity sets up living room in Leeds city centre

Emmaus Leeds sets a scene at Albion Place. Pictured Natasha Dobbs, 27 and Adeel Taylor, 21.
Emmaus Leeds sets a scene at Albion Place. Pictured Natasha Dobbs, 27 and Adeel Taylor, 21.
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A HOMELESS charity in Leeds took to the streets to mark an important milestone and raise awareness of the cause.

A pop-up living room was set up at Albion Place in Leeds city centre, as well as a rough sleeping scene, to get local people thinking about the plight of homeless people in the UK.

The event on Saturday, February 1, was held to mark 60 years since Emmaus Leeds founder Abbé Pierre made a speech to appeal to the people of France to help those sleeping rough on the streets of Paris.

The speech, broadcast on Radio Luxembourg in 1954, led to Emmaus charities being set up across the globe.

Retail support supervisor Chris Graham said: “We’re trying to make the point that one minute you could be in a nice warm house and the next minute on the streets.

“The event was also to celebrate the speech by the Emmaus founder.

“We are in 37 countries now and that probably wouldn’t have happened without that speech.”

The Leeds branch of Emmaus opened in 2003 and helps support around 26 formerly homeless men and women.

Members are encouraged to get involved with projects and help other people, and the charity also runs a recycling business that they can help with.

Emmaus Leeds member Dan said: “Emmaus has given me a home and work to do.

“We are asking people for their support, both for the Emmaus movement, and for other charities helping those who are socially disadvantaged.”

According to the charity, the rough sleeping figures for 2013 is expected to show another rise in homelessness.

For more about the charity, visit www.facebook.com/Emmausleedsuk or www.emmaus.org.uk/leeds.

You can also follow @emmausleedsshop on Twitter.

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