Fonds - Emmanuel House fonds

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Emmanuel House fonds

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  • Graphic material
  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title is based on the latest name of the institution

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30 cm of textual records
3 photographs

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Administrative history

Emmanuel House (formerly the United Church Community Centre), St. John's, Newfoundland was started in 1938 by Stella Burry, a deaconess with the church. The Centre initially functioned as a social welfare and educational institution with a very strong emphasis on the needs of girls and women. By 1944, the services provided included: clubs for fellowship, study, thrift, and working women; a women's cooperative credit union (formerly a buying club); Saturday night friendly teas; progress for women in the armed forces; lenten classes; a Christian education program, National Girls in training; cooking classes; vacation schools; and Explorer groups. In addition, the Centre provided counseling, welfare work, visitation, welcoming to strangers, advice on employment and Christmas cheer work.

In 1945 the Centre burned, and a large house on Cochrane Street was acquired. It had formerly been used by the Canadian YWCA War Services as a centre for women serving in the war. This home, which had a ground floor suitable for outreach activities and two floors which could be used for a residence, became United Church House. By 1947, the Centre was providing subsidized accommodation for young working girls on an interim basis until they could afford regular housing rates. In 1951 the Centre became Emmanuel House, named after a Church in Montreal which had been closed and sold from which the funds received were used to repair the Centre in St. John's.

Emmanuel House responded to changing social needs in the community. In 1965, the residential accommodation became a hostel for visitors to St. John's on medical appointments. In 1978, the management board decided to place more emphasis on services to former psychiatric patients. The Centre also became involved in providing counseling service (marriage, family and individual). Between 1984 and 1995 Emmanuel House programs were focused on social issues such as counseling for survivors of sexual abuse and sexual offenders; affordable housing; group therapy for males involved in physical violence against women; and education programs for imprisoned sexual offenders.

The founder, Stella Burry, studied at the Methodist (United Church) Training College and the School of Social Work in Toronto and was appointed social worker with the United Church in St. John's in 1938. She ran the social outreach centre (Emmanuel House) for 26 years and was the Director of the United Church hostel 1946-8. In 1964, the direction of the House came under Lottie Campbell.

In 1995 Emmanuel House, together with the Naomi Centre (an outreach program for homeless young women), was placed under the newly-formed Stella Burry Corporation with a board of directors. A Stella Burry Memorial Fund was also established to support the goals of the Corporation which were: to provide food, clothing and shelter to those in need; to develop self-help programs and services; and to encourage social action initiatives related to equality and social justice; or, in other words, to operationalize the beliefs and values of Dr. Stella Burry.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records relating to the activities of the United Church Community Centre (later known as Emmanuel House). It also includes administrative records (1938-2001) of the Community Centre, Community Centre Service League, Parents Study Club, Young Women's Club, Women's Cooperative Committee, Emmanuel House and Burry Heights Camp Committee. The fonds also consists of material (1929-1965) related to Dr. Stella Burry and miscellaneous material, which includes several photographs ([19-]-1992.

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Language of material

  • English

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Restrictions on access

Series 1, Subseries 1, File 4 may be accessed only with permission of Archives staff person.

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Finding aids

File list is available for all textual and photographic material. Photocopies are available for the photographs. These photocopies are located in Photograph Binder 5.

Associated materials

Dr Stella Burry fonds

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Further accruals possible.

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Created - April 26, 2013

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  • English

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