Emmaus House Brings Life, Hope and Change to Orphans In Haiti


In America we have statistics to tell us when something isn’t working — eating habits, our spending, health decisions.

Statistics clearly show our foster care system remains in crisis. We know that when kids age out of the system at 18, 20 percent become homeless, half will be unemployed and less than 3 percent will earn a college degree.

Countries like Haiti don’t have the benefit of statistics and research, yet anyone living there can tell you, those too old for orphanages rarely have a chance. They often end up on the streets — committing crime, forced into prostitution, or dead.

A Better Option: Emmaus House

Hunter and Jillian Kittrell saw this all too often working in a local orphanage. When they were told by the Social Services director to basically throw out all 18 year olds, they chose another option.

“We decided to start this new program and when we started it we really wanted to have a place that the youth would be able to learn and finish their education, grow to something bigger and better, learn the skills that they needed to live independently,” said Hunter.

Their solution: Emmaus House, where they teach independent living and help young adults learn to further their educations or pursue a career.

“We do what’s called an independent transition inventory when they enter the house and then we update that once a year and that’s pretty much them outlining their short term goals and their long-term goals for their future and then once they accomplish their long-term goals that’s when we look to moving them out of the house and into the Haitian society,” said Jillian.

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Caitlin Burke