Homelessness charity calls for ‘uprising of kindness’

S22004H13 Joel Lewis will help create a 'home' in a busy street
S22004H13 Joel Lewis will help create a 'home' in a busy street

A LIVING room and bedroom will be set up in a busy shopping street to encourage an ‘uprising of kindness’.

Emmaus Brighton and Hove, a homelessness charity which has a base in Southwick, is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

The community will be one of hundreds across the globe marking the day Emmaus founder, Abbé Pierre, took to the airwaves of Radio Luxembourg and appealed to the people of France to do something to help those sleeping rough on the streets of Paris.

Jubilee Square in Brighton will be transformed into a home on February 1, in a bid to get shoppers thinking about the plight of homeless people.

Emmaus helps to create homes, work and opportunities for homeless people, so they can rebuild their lives in a supportive community.

The shop in Station Road, Southwick, which includes accommodation for three companions, is a satellite of the main Emmaus Brighton and Hove community, in Drove Road, Portslade.

Abbé Pierre’s efforts in Paris in 1954 became known as the ‘uprising of kindness’ and Emmaus communities worldwide are now calling for a similar ‘uprising of kindness’ to commemorate that moment.

Brighton and Hove business manager Joel Lewis said: “Our staff, trustees and companions – our formerly homeless residents – will be in Jubilee Square from 10am to 4pm with presentations and information about Emmaus around the world and other local charities.

“You can also support us by making a pledge on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/Uprisingofkindness Brighton or by sending a video pledge to emmausbrightonvideo@gmail.com.”

The community will be using the Jubilee Square event to ask people to commit to an act of kindness, helping those in greater need than themselves.

The event will also be used to draw attention to the imminent release of rough sleeping figures for 2013, which are expected to show another rise in homelessness.