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Stoke-on-Trent charities join forces to help city's homeless

A project giving people facing homelessness somewhere to live and work in Stoke-on-Trent has moved a step closed.

Emmaus Potteries has been working to secure accommodation in the city for people who have been rough sleeping or sofa surfing, but has also been looking at a way of also giving them meaningful work at a social enterprise as a way of helping them into full time employment and boost their confidence.

It would be part of an international network, where communities are set up for formerly homeless people - who become known as 'companions' - to provide a home in a supportive, family environment.

Companions agree to sign off mainstream benefits and work for the enterprise, making the project financially self-sustaining and not dependant on handouts.

The charity is now working with the Furniture Mine, which is part of the Aspire Housing Group, and helps families set up home through low cost or free second hand donated items.

Volunteers have helped clear out its Hanley retail site, so it can double the amount of area to display furniture including sofas, dining sets, wardrobes and beds.

Emmaus has also launched a repair and up-cycling section, so that once a location has been confirmed for 'companions' to live in, they will work there selling and restoring furniture in the shop.

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