San Benito GIVES: Emmaus House

Emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault has served over 1,825 women and children since 2006.
Photo provided.
Photo provided.

This article was provided by Patrice Kuerschner, executive director of Emmaus House.

Emmaus House was established to provide San Benito County residents a safe place to begin their journey free from a life of violence toward a positive and healthy life while remaining in their community.  

The work that we do is so important and life changing for the women and children who come to us from a violent home. It is easy to think that domestic violence only touches a few, but I am continually amazed at the number of women and children that struggle with this experience. People we know, people in our community.

 “When I walked into Emmaus House I knew that I would finally be able to do this,” one woman said. “I felt the power. I knew that it would be hard, but with help, I could do it.”

And do it she did!  She has been living on her own with her three children for three years now. She has a job and goes to school and is studying Early Childhood Education. She says that her now 13-year-old son is learning how to express his anger in healthy ways and not hitting or yelling like his father. It has been a challenge to change his behavior too. He was imitating the behavior that he had seen. He is learning new ways to relate now. He now has an opportunity to stop the cycle of violence in his life.  

When I asked her what she might have done if there was no Emmaus House, she said “I would probably still be with him.” She had family here in San Benito County to live with, but what she needed were the tools to learn a different way of living.

Abuse crosses all boundaries. It is not specific to any race or income level. Just pick up a newspaper, turn on the TV and you see its effect everywhere. It affects a varied age group as well. Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone and as a society we need to educate and support the families that struggle with this situation.

Emmaus House is one of the participating nonprofits in San Benito GIVES 2019.  We are San Benito County’s temporary emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Offering a safe haven to women and children. Our clientele are welcomed in to start helping to heal from past traumas and move on to a path of forward choices, happiness and success in a secured home including a play-yard for the youth. We opened in October 2006 and to-date have served over 1,825 women and children.

Please join us on this community Day of Giving and support now through September 10. Your online donation will make a difference in someone’s life! Click here to make a donation today!

The Emmaus House office is located at 829 San Benito Street Ste. 300 in Hollister. To learn more, visit, follow on Facebook, Instagram:emmaushousesbc or call (831) 630-5899.