Emma House
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Healthy mothers and Babies living in community


Our mission is to provide housing and support for pregnant women and youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness; empowering them to move out of vulnerability and into a healthy and sustainable life for them and their child.

At Emma House, expectant mothers are welcomed into a safe, supportive, loving, family-like environment – one in which they encouraged to make the most of their present and to plan for the future. Each woman receives her own bedroom, case management support, access to nutritional meals, security, and 24/hour trauma-informed care.


Emma House residents often face many obstacles such as poverty, trauma, lack of life skills, addictions, mental illness, and insufficient community or relational supports that hamper their ability to stop the cycle of homelessness repeating for them and their baby. We aim to address these obstacles by equipping our residents with the resources and capabilities needed to be successful.

We do this by offering individualized and person-centered life skills programming for each resident that includes the following classes and supports:

  • Ages and Stages child development assessments and support

  • Positive parenting classes

  • Financial literacy and money management courses

  • Prenatal and postpartum education

  • Nutrition

  • Self-esteem and development of healthy coping mechanisms

  • Understanding healthy relationships and boundaries

  • Increased healthy social supports through mentorship

  • Time/task management courses

  • Resume/Cover letter building

Using a strength-based approach, we hope to instill confidence into the program participants by helping them identify their strengths and then encouraging them to use those strengths in their daily lives. Our vision for our programs is to see participants develop the skills and capabilities needed to cope with stresses, build healthy relationships, be prepared for motherhood, and move towards becoming healthy, mothers living in community. 



Two local police officers established a shelter dedicated solely to meeting the needs of pregnant women who were desperately seeking a place to live.


In 1992 Emma House welcomed its first resident in a rented church manse.  Initiated by two police officers and a group of individuals concerned about the lack of support and shelters available for pregnant women and youth facing homelessness.  Emma House became the only shelter dedicated to reaching out to women/youth who were vulnerable to homelessness while pregnant.
In years since, Emma House has provided shelter and support to over 140 expectant mothers from across Canada; encouraging women/youth to build new lives away from violence, poverty, or addiction.

In response to a growing waiting list for long-term housing, Emma House has lengthened the stay for women/youth and newborn babies, allowing them to stay up until their baby is six months of age, while securing long term housing.

At first I was angry; I was pregnant and felt abandoned by everyone. It didn’t take me long, however, to warm up to the house parents. They made me feel right at home . . . I felt like I could breathe for the first time in three years. It was so refreshing to have someone who really cared just listen to me.
— Shawna placed her baby for adoption and returned to school. She is now married and a mother again.


Although Calgary has more than 50 agencies working to address homelessness, only three—including Emma House—are focused on meeting the needs of pregnant women. Collectively, these three agencies can accommodate about 16 women at a time. Other pregnant women are being forced to live in temporary emergency shelters—not knowing from one night to the next where they will stay.

The need for Emma House’s services is greater now than it ever has been. To meet that need, we require your help!

Emma House has been supported by a very committed group of individuals, organizations, churches, and businesses.

Thanks to a very generous donation in 2007, from a long-time supporter, Emma House was able to acquire our own building in Calgary. In 2016, Emma House was able to expand its facilities in order to house more women facing vulnerable and often dangerous situations. 

Emma House continues to pay a variety of other ongoing operating costs.  They also need to accumulate savings for costs such as: renovations and continued expansion, transportation to transport residents to and from doctor appointments, hospitals, work, etc.. 

To give financially, please click here.