The staff members at Emmaus Homes know that the people they support want to be independent. Instead of viewing developmental disabilities as a hurdle to be overcome, Emmaus Homes creates a community that embraces its constituents’ unique abilities.
Background and Mission
Emmaus Homes was founded in 1893 by the German Evangelical Church to provide care for people with developmental disabilities. Their mission is to enrich the lives of individuals of all beliefs, with cognitive or developmental disabilities, by fostering independence, inclusion, and self-advocacy. Today, Emmaus Homes serves over 300 adults in homes located throughout eastern Missouri. Training in home management, self-care, employment, and other skills are provided through Emmaus Homes. They believe in caring for the whole person, which is why they also provide social and spiritual support for their clients.
Projects and Impact
Emmaus believes everyone deserves the resources to live independently, which is why they run supported and shared living programs for those they serve.
Their supported living program takes a habilitative approach, which means staff helps individuals learn to live as independently as possible. Each resident has their own room, and everyone contributes to the upkeep of their shared space by helping with cooking, planning the day, washing dishes, cleaning up, etc. In addition to daily life skills, Direct Service Professionals help residents learn volunteer skills, shopping, money management, employment skills, and how to access their community.
The shared living program involves a client choosing to live with another individual, couple, or family who provides support in their home. Emmaus works with the team to determine what support each client needs while living with their caregiver(s). Once caregivers are approved after the application process, there is a matching process to find clients their perfect Host Home. The match process focuses on lifestyle preferences, cultural values, family/friend involvement, compatibility with animals, and more to ensure that clients and caregivers are a great fit for each other.
Clients who are part of the shared living program gain a sense of independence, grow their skillsets, and—best of all—gain new family members.
Emmaus’ dedication to caring for each client’s full range of needs results in some pretty incredible impact.
- They provide over 1 million hours of direct support on a yearly basis.
- 100% of clients choose their own homes, compared to the national average of 50%
- 94% of clients developed relationships with peers, compared to an 81% national average
- 81% of clients experienced a sense of belonging, compare with a 38% national average
Emmaus offers a number of ways to get involved with the developmental disabilities organization to support their clients.
Advocacy and Volunteering
Emmaus works with partners across the state to promote disability rights and ensure sustainable funding of disability services. They invite the public to join their grassroots advocacy team with a goal of helping to shape public policy and improve all lives.
Emmaus also runs a thriving volunteer program, inviting supporters to help with community projects or events. Volunteers are also a vital part of their Neighbor to Neighbor program, which involves becoming a consistent presence at one of their supported living homes by helping with upkeep or enjoying activities together with clients.
Fundraising and Events
The Emmaus-ing Race
Based on the Amazing Race, contestants in this fundraising event compete as a team to drive around a given area to complete activities assigned to them by their Clue Master, with whom they communicate via text. Each activity and location is worth a certain number of points, and at the end of the given timeframe, the team with the most points that finished within the time limit is crowned the winner!
A Focus on Impact and Supporters
Emmaus Homes does a wonderful job of focusing on donors, their impact, and why they support Emmaus Homes. We love their 2021 Giving Tuesday donation form, which asks donors “Why Do You Choose Emmaus?” Each donation amount answers that question with text sharing impact or appealing to donors’ values.
Want to learn more about Emmaus Homes or offer your support? Head to their website for more information.