Brat Albert was initially located in Nowy Sacz in Southern Poland and increased in size in 2003 with the opening of a new site in Krakow. At the outset in the 1990s the group used to manage a shelter for the homeless in Nowy Sacz. The shelter is still in existence: it houses 75 homeless people all year round and 15 additional people in winter. Brat Albert also does intensive outreach work in wintertime with outreach teams aiming to offer shelter to people who are sleeping rough. At both Nowy Sacz and Krakow, the group’s 36 companions do the traditional work of Emmaus communities: collecting, sorting, repairing and reselling donated goods at affordable prices. Since 2012, to support the community’s income, the group has been running a small Emmaus boutique in Krynica – a well known Polish spa resort, 30km from Nowy Sacz. In addition to working with the homeless, the community also offers practical and financial help to destitute families, disabled children and the Roma community and also runs a small food bank. In Krakow, the community has now finished building new accommodation for the companions and some new workshops. In a year’s time, the community will also complete the furniture and electronic workshop.
- 24 companions in Nowy Sacz
- 12 companions in Krakow (there will be more companions in Kraków in 2015)
- One shelter with capacity for 50 (and 20 additional beds in winter) in Nowy Sacz.