Emmaus House focuses on four key areas of service: Self Growth, Advocacy, Training, and Basic Needs.  These four service areas operate as an integrated model for healing, recovery, resilience, learning, and justice.  Services include trauma healing, life skills training, restorative justice, leadership, outreach, food redistribution, and fellowship.


Emmaus has provided a food pantry throughout its long history.  Through our food pantry, we not only meet the "basic needs" of our neighbors, but we also use this opportunity to build relationships with our community and learn more about their lives and potential needs.  Emmaus' food pantry is done with great compassion and love.  As a result, we've grown to serving over 120 families on a weekly basis.


Our soup run provides us the opportunity once a week to walk the streets of Harlem and distribute 50 meals to those in need.  This engagement provides great insight into the current challenges of the Harlem homeless community.  It also provides the opportunity to engage with police officers and local businesses to keep in touch with current developments in our neighborhood.  In many ways, providing soup is but a vehicle to initiate conversation, to deepen our relationship and understand their unique circumstance as to serve them better. The homeless have been mostly nameless and we strive to know each of them by name.


Our organization has a long history of "breaking bread" with our neighbors.  Our community meal is a time where our staff, volunteers, and neighbors sit down for great food and fellowship.  Many of our food pantry families join us for this time of sharing.  This meal provides a way to slow down and reconnect to regularly restore community faith and strength.

The Coming Home Program (CH) was created to help previously incarcerated individuals re-integrate into society. There are many social barriers for people returning from prison that make the re-entry challenging. Coming Home seeks to accompany people on this journey, set goals, heal from past traumas, become active citizens, as we grow together as individuals within supportive community. 

CH has seen great success, reducing trauma scores, increasing coping skills, and generating nearly zero recidivism. In addition to the individual success in our participants, the program has also opened the hearts and minds of the larger CH community which includes many passionate volunteers. CH has helped to educate and mobilize a broader group of people who are motivated to reform our current failing system of punishment, address underlying systemic issues like racism and systemic poverty, and to work for social change and restorative justice. 

After eleven successful years of research and programming, CH has been replicated at other faith-based groups. Emmaus will commence its first program in the fall of 2020.

The CH team includes:
William Eric Waters
Change Agent, Criminal Justice Professional

William has 25 years experience in the criminal justice system, including experience in criminal, family and immigration law as a researcher and writer. Waters is an award-winning author in poetry, playwriting, and non-fiction. He has received numerous awards for his work in criminal justice and Citizens Against Recidivism names an award after him, The William Eric Waters Bridge Builder Award.

Sally Baker
Non-Profit Leader, Consultant, Coach, Founder and Executive Director of Girls Inc. Westchester

Theresa Colyer
Psychiatric Nurse, Community organizer, Coming home facilitator


More about the Coming Home Program:

Emmaus House - Harlem

160 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027 




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