Emma Norton Services

Focus Area: Youth Development

Grant Amount: $10,000

Based in St. Paul, serves St. Paul and Maplewood. ENS supports women and their families who are recovering from homelessness and experiencing the challenges of mental and/or chemical disabilities at two housing facilities: Emma Norton Residences in downtown St. Paul, and Emma’s Place in Maplewood. Most of the clients at Emma’s Place are women with large families in which at least one member has some kind of disability. In 2019, ENS began to pilot after-school programming with a focus on social-emotional learning for 40 children ages 5-12 living at its sites.

Grant supports continuing the work at Emma’s Place with their SEL curriculum, as well as build out a new art therapy program that has gotten a good response from participants. With the stress and anxiety of the pandemic and social unrest, art therapy has been a valuable tool for children and their families. Emma Norton has continued to operate its housing programs during the Covid-19 crisis and has been finding ways to support the residents. The families served by the program, the majority of whom are African American, have suffered extreme trauma during the time they spent without homes, and the Covid-19 crisis has deepened that trauma. The youth programming with strong SEL and trauma-informed supports has been very helpful to these young people.