Map of groups

Key figures

  • First organisation 1949
  • Member organisations 226
  • Trial members 19

In November 1949, called to the side of a desperate man who had tried to commit suicide, Abbé Pierre spontaneously offered “the opposite of charity” by suggesting he come to “help him help others”  by building accommodation for homeless families. Georges Legay agreed to do so. Soon, other men joined him at the Emmaus house in Neuilly-Plaisance and the first community was then set up. In January 1951, the five companions built the first accommodation.
In June 1951, Abbé Pierre was not re-elected deputy. With money running short, Abbé Pierre went begging on the streets of Paris. A companion came up with the answer: become rag-pickers. From then onwards, the community lived off collecting and selling raw materials and second-hand items. Little by little, rules came into being as the community gained in experience. “Never shall we accept that our subsistence depend on anything else than our work”.
At the end of 1953, there were 180 companions in eight communities. With little means at their dispos-al, they housed 141 families. On 1 February 1954, in response to the authorities’ lack of action, Abbé Pierre gave his well-known radio appeal.

Member organisations

Trial groups

100 pour 1 Pays Rochefortais - ACI Ré-Emploi - AGAME - Atelier Emmaüs - Comité d'amis Apt - Emmaüs Environnement 43 - Emmaüs Lespinassière - Emmaüs OGBF - La Ferme de Baudonne - Emmaüs Pontivy - Emmaüs Primelin - Emmaüs Roya - Label Emmaüs - SOS Familles Emmaüs Forbach - SOS Familles Emmaüs Millau - SOS Familles Emmaüs Montauban - SOS Familles Emmaüs Pays de Vannes - TERO LOKO - TERRA ALTER EST - VIVRE AU PEUX - ASSOCIATION TERRE COMMUNAUTE EMMAUS