Homelessness charity Emmaus has set a fundraising target of £10 million for its tenth anniversary year.
Exact details of the campaign are yet to be released, but the charity intends to use the money to build additional community centres for homeless people. Since its inception, Emmaus has opened nine centres in the UK, each providing homeless people with accommodation and employment.
The long-term plan is to build a further 18 communities over the next three years. The anniversary funds will go some way towards footing the bill, but extra donations will still be required if the plan is to be fully realised since each building costs around £1 million. Emmaus has already paid for four of the sites earmarked for development, but it will need to find cash for the remaining 14.
Communications manager Kate Allsopp accepts the charity is aiming high.
"The £10 million target is bigger than anything we've done before,
she said. "Our community centres house 30 people, so we need a fairly large building. And they're not cheap. But we are aiming high deliberately. Many of our existing communities are turning people away. Increasingly, many of these are women and children."
The charity is also seeking a stronger profile in an increasingly crowded homeless sector. It also wishes to push its position as offering something extra to homeless and unemployed people. "We want to be more of a force in the homeless sector,