top of page

About Elizabeth House

Elizabeth House provides a transitional home, system navigation and care coordination to pregnant women and mothers experiencing housing instability.

Elizabeth House for pregnant women and mothers experiencing homelessness

Our story

Since opening its doors in 1996, Elizabeth House has housed over 300 women and their babies and provided referrals and support to hundreds of others. As a non-denominational program of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary, we welcome women from all ages, walks of life and faiths.

Elizabeth House was started by the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis in 1996 and continues to be a non-denominational program of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary. The original focus of the program was to offer pregnant and parenting teens experiencing homelessness a safe and stable environment to gain life skills, grow community and parent her child in the best way possible.

 

Today, Elizabeth House helps support women of all ages to reach their goals whether their journey is to parent, adopt or re-gain guardianship. We offer sanctuary, community and the opportunity to create life-long resilience. 

Mission

Elizabeth House provides a transitional home, system navigation and care coordination to pregnant women and mothers experiencing housing instability. We offer sanctuary, community and opportunity to create life-long resilience through individualized care and heart-centered connections.

Elizabeth House Mission Statement
Elizabeth House Vision Statement

Vision

We envision a world where pregnant women, mothers and children are empowered, resilient, thriving and celebrated.

Meet the team

Elizabeth House is run by a dedicated and experienced team who are passionate about empowering pregnant women, mothers and their children to build lifelong resilience with a caring and connected community.

Meet the team Michelle Haywood

Michelle Haywood

Program Manager

Michelle leads Elizabeth House and its staff and is responsible for ensuring it has the right people, resources and infrastructure necessary to provide the best possible environment and experience for the families who choose to live here. Michelle has been a member of the Elizabeth House staff since 2007 and acting manager since 2018. She has over 20 years of education and experience in leadership, nonprofit management, social work, child and youth studies, pregnancy and childbirth support and education, professional facilitation and mentorship. "I became a mother at 13 years old. My daughter and I survived the experiences of poverty, discrimination and isolation because of the generosity and compassion of a few treasured souls and spaces where we were unconditionally safe, nurtured and empowered to gradually heal and create a life worth living. I have dedicated my life’s work to creating these opportunities for other women and children. My daughter, a strong and brilliant woman and the eldest of my children, pursued her Masters in Clinical Art Therapy in order to do the same.” - Michelle

Meet the team Sarah Cormier

Sarah Cormier

Volunteer & Operations Coordinator

Sarah supports the operations of Elizabeth House as well as the household needs of the families living here. From gathering donations, scheduling staff to holding babies and unclogging sinks - Sarah is very resourceful and well connected! Sarah also works tirelessly to promote Elizabeth House and raise our profile in the community as well as recruits, onboards and manages all our volunteers.  Sarah is a teacher by trade and holds a Bachelor of Education. She brings 18 years of nonprofit management and nonprofit board work. She loves supporting the families to build their own communities in a safe and supported way. “Elizabeth House drew me in with the feeling of support, come as you are and no judgment. I have learned so much and feel so privileged to be able to work alongside these families.” - Sarah

Meet the team Audrey Martin

Audrey Martin 

Resilience Specialist

Audrey is our Resilience Specialist. She leads the Care Coordination team and oversees the clinical aspects of the program, program delivery, and outcomes – everything related to our participants, program planning, referral partnerships, system navigation, and services related to the care and support of our families. As a proud Metis woman, she brings an indigenous world view and helps us uphold our commitment to Truth & Reconciliation. Her background is in Child & Youth Care Counselling and brings 10 years of nonprofit management and experience working with the most vulnerable families, children and youth in our communities. “Born to a young Metis woman, as an infant I was adopted to a non-indigenous family, where I survived a significant amount of abuse and neglect until I was ‘returned’ to Foster Care at age 11. In my adult years, via schooling, experience,  and connection to culture, I began my healing journey through re-connecting to ceremony, indigenous and land based teachings. I’m passionate about helping cultivate a culture of strong, resilient women in both staff and participants alike, rooted in community and belonging.”- Audrey

Meet the team Miho Ichinoseki

Miho Ichinoseki

Care Coordinator

Miho is a full-time Care Coordinator and works closely with our Resilience Specialist and part-time Care Coordinator to help care for our pregnant women, mothers and babies. She supports the intake process, onboard new residents, and coordinates events such as cooking classes, play sessions, field trips and crafts.  She is a registered social worker in Alberta and has over 5 years experience as a child development worker, peer support coordinator and family support worker. She holds a Diploma in Social Work and a Bachelor of Art. “Elizabeth House is a sanctuary with unconditional love for moms and babies to grow, and I love working with the families here. As an immigrant and single parent myself, I enjoy using my knowledge and skills to support our moms and help them find their purpose in life.” - Miho

Meet the team Kim Goodman

Kim Goodman
Support Staff

Kim began working at Elizabeth House in 2022. Before she arrived here her education took her into religious studies and midwifery.  While her career took her into work as a doula to new mothers, Housing First programs, youth work, neighbourhood food security and more;  her travels took her around the world and opened her eyes to the width and breadth of cultures, experiences, values and family systems. Through this all, Kim has learned to work with people, to serve people, and to be curious and ready to listen. “Coming on board as Support Staff I found that not only was Elizabeth House a match for my experience, it also deeply aligns with my values.  As a mother myself, I know the challenges of caring for children, while caring for self and continuing to move toward your goals.  And I know that so many women are facing monumental challenges of stability and safety to move towards those goals. I am honoured to be a part of supporting women; walking with them, sharing skills, modelling, listening, and showing up, in the beautiful ways that Elizabeth House does.” - Kim

Meet the team Jordan Joanisse

Jordan Joanisse
Care Coordinator

As a member of the Care Coordination team, Jordan helps ensure the holistic well-being of our residents by providing compassionate care, guidance, and unwavering support to the individuals entrusted to our community. She helps our residents with a wide array of needs - whether it's filling out applications, scheduling appointments, or simply offering a compassionate ear to listen.  Jordan has extensive experience as a birth and postpartum doula, is an Associate Certified Coach as well as a pregnancy and infant loss coach. She is also a mom of 3 within a blended family.  “I have a deep passion for supporting new families, driven by my own unique journey into parenthood and life. My personal experiences have given me a profound understanding of the diverse paths we all walk. The distinctive, communal atmosphere at Elizabeth House is where women can come together to offer strong support to one another and create a nurturing environment.” - Jordan

Meet the team Marin Lepp

Marin Lepp
Support Staff

Marin has been a part of the Elizabeth House community since 2016. During her time here, she has mainly served as a Support Staff in addition to acting in the role of  Care Coordinator for a time. Marin graduated in 2007 from Mount Royal University with a diploma in Child and Youth Care Counselling. Since then, she has worked in a domestic violence family shelter as a crisis counsellor, in Indigenous youth support programs, in group care, educational counsellor within school settings, and in several volunteer groups. “Over the years, I have seen so much positive growth, evolution, flourishing and development within Elizabeth House both as a program and in the women and babies who live with us.  This is one of the many reasons why I’m inspired to partner as a staff team member with this extraordinary community of women. However, my greatest achievement is raising my daughter within a single-parent family structure, in hopes that she will grow to be empowered like the women I encounter every day. Through personal and professional experience, I strive to bring my passion for connection with people to the Elizabeth House team and participants.” - Marin

Meet the team Yohana Berhane

Yohana Berhane
Support Staff

Yohana is a registered social worker with over seven years of experience working in the housing sector, starting out her career working with families living in a shelter to transition into a place of their own in the community. Yohana’s connection to Elizabeth House came about after a career switch in which she started to work with single individuals rather than families. “Before Elizabeth House, I didn’t feel complete having to stray away from my passion of working with families. The reason I went into social work was to work towards making a difference in the lives of populations that faced socioeconomic disparity in our society. I intended to address the root causes and for me that meant intervention at an early stage which was supporting women and children. Elizabeth House provided me the space to fulfill and practice my passion of serving pregnant and parenting women with the skills they need to integrate and thrive in our society.” - Yohana

placeholder

Patience Iyelobu
Support Staff

Patience has been a member of the staff since 2021 and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work, following her passion for helping people in need, especially mothers and babies. Patience has several years of experience working with vulnerable populations in the areas of homelessness, mental health and addictions. She describes her role at Elizabeth House as being here to assist women in their unique individual journey through motherhood and to foster a welcoming, trauma-informed care environment for mothers and their children during their stay.  As a mother herself, she was first drawn to Elizabeth House in the belief that motherhood requires a community of care.  “I wanted to be a part of a community providing support to mothers and their babies. I am from a small town in West Africa and we believe it takes a community to raise a child. Elizabeth House is a sanctuary for mothers and their children. The care team at Elizabeth House provides a holistic approach to motherhood which involves helping women to build resilience, navigate parenting and finances, and build life skills through coaching. Elizabeth House is a community where babies and mothers are receiving the support they need through learning from the community of staff and fellow mothers.” - Patience

EH Team Photo - Lenora v3.png

Lenora Wiebe
Support Staff & Counsellor

Lenora is currently working in two roles at Elizabeth House as a Support Worker and Counsellor. She has been working in various capacities since January 2019.  Lenora has counselled residents in different programs with other agencies as well as having her private practice over the past 24+ years. She is a Registered Social Worker and a long-time member of the Alberta College of Social Workers. Lenora has extensive and varied experience supporting individuals from all walks of life through her social work and counselling practice. Lenora works mostly with women who have experienced domestic violence, addictions, trauma, grief & loss, stress and mental health concerns. “It is such a joy and privilege to work with the women and babies and watch them grow and change to prepare themselves to live a more independent life.” - Lenora

Frequently asked questions

Q. What is Elizabeth House?

A. Elizabeth House provides a transitional home, system navigation and care coordination to pregnant women and mothers experiencing housing instability in Calgary. We offer sanctuary and community for women of all ages and walks of life, with a focus on building lifelong resilience and self-confidence through unconditional acceptance and woman-centred care.

 

As a non-denominational program of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary, 100% of donations go directly to support our operations and the families we serve. Since opening its doors in 1996, Elizabeth House has housed over 300 women and their babies and provided referrals and support to hundreds of others. 

 

Q. Do I have to be Catholic or Christian to live, work or volunteer at Elizabeth House?

A. No, our program is open to women of all faiths or no faith. We welcome people from all walks of life. 

Q. Do you only accept teenage mothers?

A. We accept mothers of all ages. 

Q. How do you support pregnant women and mothers?

We support life-long resilience by offering  supportive, stable home as well as individualized care planning, perinatal and early childhood focused programming, community-based referrals for specialized care and social-emotional supports. Our Care Coordination team uses evidence-based practices and frameworks to assist each woman on their journey from uncertainty and crisis to stability and resilience. 

Q. Who funds Elizabeth House?

A. We are grateful to our donors as we rely on ongoing fundraising and annual donations from individuals and organizations in order to keep our doors open. Financial administration and oversight is provided by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary. When you donate to Elizabeth House, every dollar goes directly to the operations of this invaluable program. Donate online today.

bottom of page