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, counseling, and support. Women are also offered time to find long-term housing and to decide whether to place her baby for adoption or raise the child on her own.
For many new arrivals, Emma House offers the first loving, disciplined environment they have ever experienced. The guidelines for all residents include daily chores, curfews, and attending school, going to a job each day, or doing regular volunteer work. These guidelines provide consistent structure for the women as their delivery dates approach.
Live-in Supervisors and the Program Director oversee Emma House, to ensure the women’s safety. The Program Director and her husband are often the first models of a mutually supportive married couple that the expectant mothers have ever witnessed. Together the Program Director and Supervisors help teach beneficial life, nutritional and parenting skills to empower residents and their babies.
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 homeless women. Emma House became the only shelter dedicated to reaching out to women 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 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 and newborn babies, allowing them to stay up to six months while securing long term housing.