The past 3 weeks of my introduction to working as a member of the Emmaus Outreach Team have been a steep learning curve. The amount of knowledge and care the staff have is incredible.
My expectations for this role as an outreach worker were very broad. I did not know what to expect. I thought it would involve a ton of walking (which I was right about) but also, I actually expected to find a lot more homeless people on the streets. I attend Jubilee Church in the Hull City Centre and meet lots of new people every Sunday and we work very closely with the homeless, however I have learnt that many of the people who have said they are homeless are in fact in hostels. I expected to be able to quickly solve the homeless crisis in our region, however now I am learning that it is not that simple.
Emmaus has always been a charity that has been close to my heart. Being able to sing for the companions and for the Christmas light switch on at the Whitefrigate store was a privilege. These people do incredible work for our city and county. Giving people structure and a purpose is something I agree deeply with. Growing up in Honduras we created jobs for people with the same mindset, to keep them off of the street and give them a purpose, job satisfaction, learning new skills and crafts and to help learn basic key life skills. I see the same thing working here at Emmaus.
Ever since I have started working here, I have had a warm welcome from each member off staff and everyone has been so friendly. All of the companions have been so lovely and seem happy to be here. I already have learnt so much from the guys here, shadowing a different team member every week, learning the ways each of them work. They are all so different yet all gain the same results. I am keen to get started going solo.
The challenges for me going forward will be trying not to get too emotionally invested. There have been a few times where I felt so bad that I wanted to give them the shoes off of my feet to help with the blisters they have from walking around bare foot because they don’t have the correct size shoes.
Seeing people younger than myself on the street makes me feel so sad, thinking how did they get to this point in their lives. All I know now is that I will do all that I possibly can to get these people off of the street and get a roof over their heads.