Dylan’s story

“Places like this give people who haven’t got a chance at a decent life a fighting chance. They provide opportunities to people that society looks down on without judgement.”

Abused for years as a child, Dylan eventually decided life on the streets was better than what he was enduring at home.

Two years on and Dylan is looking to set his own business up after a supported housing scheme in Hull helped him get back on track.

“From the age of six, I was physically, mentally and emotionally abused by my dad. When my mum fell pregnant with my little sister, I didn’t want her growing up in that environment so I left so she wouldn’t have to witness what my dad was doing to me.

“I spent my time in and out of hostels, sofa surfing and on the streets. I’m a big fan of wild camping so I used what I knew to get by. I was referred to Emmaus Hull by the job centre.”

As with all Emmaus schemes, residents at The Orchard, known as companions, are required to work a minimum of 40 hours a week in return for a roof over their head, food and a daily allowance. The community is supported by a social enterprise including a cafe and retail space which sells upcycled household goods.

“I’ve jumped at the chance to try every job on offer here to build up my CV from collections and deliveries to working on the shop floor. Emmaus are even helping me fund my driving lessons so I will be able to drive the van myself. I’m working towards setting up my own business when I leave.”

Help raise awareness

Thousands of people have gained their independence through supported housing. The Starts at Home campaign aims to ensure that people who need extra support will always have a home that meets their needs.

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