Emmaus History

Emmaus has been providing permanent homes, services, and advocacy to individuals with intellectual disabilities for more than 25 years.

In 1989, Lorraine and Ken Wagner, parents of a daughter with a disability, were inspired to write and send letters to everyone they knew inviting them to a meeting to study, discuss and discern how to better serve persons with intellectual disabilities. As a result of those discussions, and in concert with prayerful reflection, focused planning efforts and a groundswell of activity, Emmaus was formed.

1989: The Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh was founded.

1993: The Emmaus Community became incorporated and opened a social center in Beechview.

1994: The first Emmaus Home opened on the South Side in the old St. Peter’s Rectory.

1995: The second home, Bethany House, opened in Brookline. Respite was provided to persons on an as needed basis.

2000: The Emmaus Respite Center and Offices were opened in the South Side.

2002: The third home, Tabor House, was opened in Troy Hill.

2004: Emmaus completed a strategic plan with the guidance of students and faculty from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA)

2005: Emmaus launched a Feasibility Study to prepare for a major Capital Campaign. Our Respite Center was converted into a permanent home, Jordan House, for our senior residents.

2007: Emmaus opened a Supported Living Apartment program in Mt. Lebanon to serve residents who are capable of living independently, with non-24 hour support.

2009: The residents from Tabor House in Troy Hill relocated to a new home in Dormont.

2010: Jericho Center was opened in Brookline to use as a Respite Center. Troy Hill respite center was closed. Shiloh House was opened in Mt. Lebanon.

2011: Jericho Respite Center became Jericho House.

2013: Emmaus expanded its Non-Residential Programs to include Respite, Companion Services, and Home & Community Habilitation. Jerusalem House was opened in Scott Township.

2014: Noah House opened in Bethel Park.

2015: Galilee House opened in Bethel Park.

2017: Solomon House opened in Brookline.

2019: Graceland House opened in Brookline.