Downing Street visit for inspirational Karen

Karen Wallis outside Number 10 Downing Street
Karen Wallis outside Number 10 Downing Street

A formerly homeless woman who now works for Emmaus Preston has visited 10 Downing Street as part of a reception to mark 50 years of Crisis UK.

Karen Wallis, from Southport, has turned her life around after spending time in prison and being homeless.

After receiving support from Emmaus Preston, she now works at the charity helping others break the cycle of homelessness and move on to independent living.

Karen said: “It’s great that Crisis’ work is being recognised and that homelessness is on the political agenda as much more work needs to be done.”

Emmaus Preston supports formerly homeless people by providing them with a stable home and meaningful work for as long as they need it.

Earlier this year, Karen spoke in Westminster at the All Party Parliamentary Group for Ending Homelessness (APPGEH) inquiry on how to prevent prison leavers from becoming homeless.

“Life before Emmaus was lonely, fearful and to be honest not really a life, ” she said. “It was a day to day existence in which I didn’t care if I lived or died.

“The routine at Emmaus meant I no longer felt like I was wasting my life. I have progressed from a companion to a staff member and I’m now able to help other people.

“I’m looking forward to speaking at the APPGEH event to provide parliamentarians with some knowledge that will hopefully help them make changes to prevent people going through the things I have been through.”