Emmaüs was founded in Paris in 1949 by Father Henri-Antoine Groues, Catholic priest, MP and former member of the French Resistance during WW2. He was better known by his resistance name of Abbé Pierre.
When a desperate, suicidal man came to him for help, he took him in and asked him to join in his mission to help the homeless.
Georges became the first of a group of ‘Emmaüs Companions’ supported by and living in the home of Abbé Pierre, working to build temporary homes for those in need.
When the money ran out, Abbé Pierre toured the restaurants and businesses of Paris begging for donations. His ‘companions’ were outraged. There had to be another way. They became rag and bone men, going through bins, collecting people’s unwanted items and selling them on….and so Emmaüs was born.