• Who We Are
    Who We Are

Emmaus Today

Emmaus Homes is a faith based, nonprofit organization providing around the clock services to more than 300 adults with developmental disabilities in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Our mission is to help our clients live as independently as possible in the community of their choice.

As we continue to expand our services into the community, we remain focused on continuing our 125 year tradition of providing high quality, faith-based services to adults with developmental disabilities.

Today, Emmaus serves clients in more than 85 homes throughout Franklin, Warren, St. Charles and St. Louis counties.


July 2, 1893 – Emmaus Homes was founded in 1893 in Marthasville, Mo., when a group of pastors and lay people from the surrounding churches of the Evangelical Synod of the West decided to use their vacated seminary building to serve individuals with epilepsy and developmental disabilities. As a reflection of their Christian faith, the founders attempted to care for those in need, while recognizing each person’s worth and unique qualities.

July 5, 1893 – Emmaus’ first client, W. Zoller from New Orleans, Louisiana moved in. On July 11, A. Funk, our first female client, also moved in.


Emmaus expanded and opened its St. Charles campus to meet the vast need for services to people with developmental disabilities closer to St. Louis. The St. Charles campus, at this time, was for females only.


Kuhlmann Memorial or “Mother’s Home” opened on St. Charles campus to care for elderly women who suffered mental problems.


Emmaus Homes St. Charles Campus Chapel built.


Publicly announced that the new name of the Emmaus Institution was Emmaus Homes, Inc.


Revised our purpose of being, “Now the purpose is to provide residential communities for adult mental retardates. Thus the first requirement for admittance is that the applicant be classified as mentally retarded. However, among those who are mentally retarded there are some who are afflicted with epilepsy also. The presence of this condition does not in any way affect their eligibility for admittance. Approximately 20% of our residents are classified as epileptics.”


Emmaus Homes received licenses from the State of Missouri, Division of Mental Health.


Emmaus in St. Charles became “co-ed” – a place for residential care of men and women. Emmaus in St. Charles also adopted a new program called Vocational Instruction and Training for Employment. Potentially capable residents were trained to do housekeeping and cleaning at Emmaus Home and in the community. They also began a new music therapy program.


Emmaus purchased its second off-campus home in St. Louis, very close to the St. Marcus home.


Emmaus continued to open more homes in the community. Emmaus began using the Individualized Supported Living (ISL) model for their community homes. This option is a coordinated system of supports designed around the person rather than trying to fit the person into an existing facility. Additionally, Emmaus began transforming the way they provided service on their campuses. All homes now had kitchen facilities. The Main Kitchen stopped serving meals in the Main Dining room. Laundry facilities were also available in each home. Additionally, Emmaus changed their recreation department and residents began attending off-campus programs and each home planned their own outings and activities in the community.


Emmaus opens two programs in Washington, Mo, the ADAPT (Adult Day and Physical Therapy) Program, which serves individuals with severe and profound mental retardation and the LIFE (Learning In a Functional Environment) Enterprise Program which is directed to individuals with special behavior needs. In 1994, the Emmaus LIFE Program received the “Innovative Program of the Year” award from the Council for Health and Human Service Ministries of the United Church of Christ.


Emmaus partners with the St. Charles County Humane Society to introduce Pet Therapy.


Seniors Special Care Program for Dementia and Alzheimer’s was developed to help those seniors in Emmaus’ care, who are showing signs of diminishing abilities, maintain their quality of life while helping them adjust to the changes they’re experiencing.


LEADD program began. LEADD, now known as EmmausLink, is a cooperative effort by Emmaus Homes, Developmental Disabilities Resource Board and St. Charles Community College’s Continuing Education Department. This program offers non-credit adult continuing educational opportunities for individuals including persons with developmental disabilities, ages 16 and older. Courses are taught by experts and are designed to provide life-enhancing experiences in a community educational and social environment. The curriculum aims to promote growth opportunities and challenge the abilities of individuals who desire to live and work as independently as possible.


Emmaus went through a re-branding which has led us to the place we are at today. Our new logo and tag line “Spirited People Leading Spirited Lives” was adopted. Additionally, the Board updated our Mission Statement. “Arising from faith in Jesus Christ, the mission of Emmaus Homes is to enhance the quality of life for adults of all beliefs who have cognitive, intellectual and other developmental disabilities.” Additionally, we developed our vision, “Emmaus Homes will be an outstanding provider of care continuum, within nurturing communities, for adults with cognitive, intellectual and other developmental disabilities.”


After a lot of analysis and discussion on how to take the next step forward and continue our legacy, Emmaus began to transition clients off the St. Charles campus and into homes in the community.


The Emmaus Board of Directors decided to transition clients off of the Marthasville campus and into homes in the community of their choice based on 3 tenets of our strategic plan; best practice, good stewardship and financial stability. This transition will be complete by 2020.  Click here to read more



For 125 years, Emmaus has provided high quality services to adults with developmentally disabilities throughout the St. Louis metro area. Today, Emmaus serves nearly 300 individuals in St. Charles, St. Louis, Warren and Franklin counties, in more than 85 community homes. Our goal is to work with each client on an individual basis to help them to live as independently as possible. As we continue to expand our the depth and reach of our services, our mission remains clear: to provide the highest quality supportive care with a continued focus on our faith based tradition.


We are committed to preserving our mission for many generations to come.


You can support Emmaus through giving.

We offer a number of ways to give, including planned giving, gifts in kind, and more. Every contribution makes a difference!