Since 1990, Emmaus has grown from a small, grassroots organization to a well-respected provider of disability services in the Pittsburgh region.

At Emmaus, we recognize the unique gifts of every individual.

We’re an ecumenical, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing inclusive, community-based homes, in-home services, and advocacy to people with intellectual disabilities in the Pittsburgh region.

By sharing their lives with one another, our residents and staff develop strong , caring relationships, which foster mutual growth and empower Community members to live up to their greatest potentials.

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Emmaus Management

The Emmaus Directors and Program Managers are a mission-focused team of individuals who use their skills and experience to ensure that Emmaus brings the highest quality of services to each person it serves.

Karen Jacobsen - CEO
Karen Jacobsen
Chief Executive Officer
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Margaret Pollock - Chief Financial Officer
Margaret Pollock
Chief Financial Officer
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Kelly Stillwell - Director of IDD Services
Kelly Stillwell
Director of IDD Services
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Lauren Zak
In-Home Services Program Manager
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Jennifer Pavlisko - Director of Human Resources
Jennifer Pavlisko
Director of Human Resources
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Tiffany Merriman-Preston
Director of Development
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MiRan Surh - Director of Community Relations
MiRan Surh
Director of Community Relations
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Dave Treece - Compliance Officer
Dave Treece
Compliance Officer
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Kristy Weaver - Residential Program Manager
Kristy Weaver
Assistant Director of IDD Services
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Special Thanks to Our Emmaus Board Members

The Emmaus Board of Directors is comprised of individuals from a variety of industries and fields who volunteer their time and skills to further the Emmaus mission.

Eric Bowman
Emmaus Foundation Board
Mark Caplan
VP Infrastructure, Operations, Security and Risk at 84 Lumber
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Christopher C. Curtis
Attorney, Sullivan & Worcester
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Don Detts
Emmaus Foundation Board
Financial Advisor, Wells Fargo
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Sean Donoghue, Jr.
Senior Counsel at Olympus Energy
Michael Fitzgerald
President/Partner at HR Screening Services
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Sheila Halter
Librarian, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Schell Lin
Vice President, Sr ALM Analyst in Corporate Treasury at BNY Mellon
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Brian Lindauer, Esq.
Attorney at Goerhring, Rutter & Boehm
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David G. Matesic
President at Matcon Diamond, Inc.
Dan McNees
Senior Accountant at Independent Controllers
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Timothy F. Noca
President at Protech Professional Technical Services, Inc.
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Margaret W. Pollock
CFO at Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh
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Sophia E. Sanders
University of Pittsburgh
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April Santicola
Exercise Physiologist
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Benedict Serratore
Owner at South Pittsburgh Realty Co.
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Edward Stafford, M.D.
Washington ENT
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Paul Uhlemann
Green Apple Barter
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Rev. Nicholas S. Vaskov, STL
Executive Director for Communications at Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh
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Lorraine Sweeney Wagner
Co-Founder, Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh
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Adam Warhola
Emmaus Foundation Board
Attorney, Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote
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Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh has earned the GuideStar Exchange Seal, demonstrating its commitment to transparency.

To view our IRS 990 tax forms and audited financial statements, visit our profile at

Latest Emmaus Announcements

July 8, 2024

Tickets now for sale for the 2024 Emmaus Purse Bash Raffle!

Do you love fashion? Are you feeling lucky? Get ready for the 2024 Emmaus Purse Bash Raffle! Emmaus will be giving away ten designer purses and an assortment of designer

July 1, 2024

BIG NEWS! The Emmaus headquarters are moving to the South Hills!

We have some BIG news to share! After more than 30 years at our current location in the South Side, Emmaus is moving! Later this year, we’ll be opening our

June 26, 2024

Fun in the Sun at the Annual Emmaus Vacation!

For more than 30 years the Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh has been taking an annual Summer vacation to enjoy a few days of fun and relaxation. This year Emmaus residents

Emmaus of Pittsburgh Logo Art


The Emmaus name hails from a Biblical story which reflects the Emmaus philosophy of sharing our lives with people with intellectual disabilities.

In the Gospel of Luke, there is a story about two disciples who are walking the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus and are joined by Jesus, but don’t recognize him. When they arrive at Emmaus, they invite the stranger to join them for a meal. He does, and when Jesus “breaks the bread” and blesses the meal, the disciples “eyes are opened,” and they recognize him.

At Emmaus, we believe that only when we truly share our lives with others (whether literally breaking bread over a shared meal or sharing the many joys and sorrows of everyday life) do we see people as they really are. When people with and without disabilities come together in Community, they’re able to see and value the unique gifts of each person, regardless of ability. This togetherness and focus on Community is the cornerstone of life at Emmaus.

Emmaus of Pittsburgh Logo Art


Emmaus has been providing permanent homes, services, and advocacy to individuals with intellectual disabilities for more than 30 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.

The Community, inspired by Faith and a desire to help others, seeks to improve the quality of life for persons with developmental disabilities. In living, working, and breaking bread together, people with and without disabilities enjoy fellowship by sharing who they are and what they have with one another. Strengthened by its spirituality and prayerful direction, the Community helps all members grow and become whole.

To accomplish its mission, Emmaus works toward the following goals:

  • To maintain the highest quality of care in residential homes that fosters acceptance by the community;
  • To create an environment where everyone can use his or her abilities to live to their fullest potential;
  • To educate the community about the needs of persons with developmental disabilities and advocate for a productive response to those needs;
  • To provide short-term respite opportunities for families and individuals; and
  • To reduce the number of persons who are on the emergency waiting list in Allegheny County.