Charitable Choices: Amy Funk, Operations Manager at Emma House

Emma House is a non-profit organization that provides programmed housing to pregnant women and youth who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. Recently, we had the chance to speak with Operations Manager Amy Funk to learn more about what they do.

Emma House

Describe your charity/non-profit in a few sentences.

Emma House is a non-profit organization that provides programmed housing to pregnant women and youth who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. Our Mission is to provide housing and support to our residents and empower them to move out of vulnerability and into a healthy and sustainable life for themselves and their children.

What problem does it aim to solve?

Emma House aims to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty among vulnerable pregnant women and youth.

When did you start/join it?

I first joined the team in 2016.

What made you want to get involved?

Emma House is one of three organizations in Calgary that provide support and housing to pregnant women and youth. There is a great need for support like Emma House in our community and this is evident through our growing waitlist. I wanted to get involved to support vulnerable perinatal women access the support and resources they need. I strongly believe in the vision of Emma House which is to see healthy moms and babies living in the community.

What was the situation like when you started?

When I first started, we were operating out of a small house and were able to support and house 3-5 women and their babies at a time.

How has it changed since?

Emma House has grown and expanded its program so much in the last 5 years. We are currently operating out of a building that has allowed us to double our impact and house 10 moms and 10 babies at a time. Residents are now able to stay in the Emma House program up to two years after their baby is born to provide stability and ensure greater success in community for our residents.

What more needs to be done?

The biggest challenge our residents are facing is finding safe, appropriate, and affordable housing as they transition out of Emma House. There are currently years-long waitlists for affordable housing options in the city of Calgary. We would love to provide 2nd stage housing opportunities for our residents in the future.

How can our readers help?

There are many different ways readers can get involved and support Emma House. Emma House does not receive any consistent government funding which means we need to fundraise our operational budget every year. The biggest way readers can support is by becoming a monthly donor. We also have an amazing volunteer team that supports our residents and Emma House by becoming a mentoring mom, providing child care, or mealtime support. Readers can check out our website to learn more.

Do you have any events coming up?

Yes, we have a signature event happening on April 20th called IRIS. IRIS represents an evening of renewal, celebration, and laughter with some of the city’s greatest talent and featuring a performance by Canadian TV personality and Comedian Jessi Cruickshank. You can purchase tickets here.

Where can we follow you?

You can follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?

A charity that I love that is doing amazing work in the community is the Calgary Dream Centre!

 

 

About Demian Vernieri 503 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.