Emmanuel House Opens in Downtown Aurora

Emmanuel House, Aurora IL


Think of Emmanuel House as an expert snowball maker. Not only are they the neighborhood friend that you want to know on a cold day, but they have been working for over six years to collect individual snowflakes, or community partners, to create a non-stoppable force in Aurora.

Rick Guzman, who founded the Aurora organization with his wife, Desiree, says what Emmanuel House really does is partner with a host of other non-profit organizations to accomplish their mission.

Guzman said that the non-profit organization takes on more of a mentoring role in providing tools to local families. They help families become homeowners, but they also empower people and create opportunities.

Through a tested and proven model of assisting families with saving rent, those families can then purchase their own home and start building equity after as little as 18 to 24 months. Check out the model and see how it works HERE.

Emmanuel House, named after Guzman’s deceased brother, leverages community resources and what Guzman calls “latent potential” to help break the cycle of poverty one family at a time.

“When someone reaches their full potential, then we all benefit,” said Guzman, who also works for the City of Aurora.

Emmanuel House currently operates 17 apartments in Aurora where families reside while they are enrolled in the savings program.

“The impact is far reaching,” said Hayley Meksi, director of Emmanuel House. She added that home ownership helps the entire community in many ways.

“If you give people the tools, they will make a bigger impact in the community, Guzman said. “Our mission is to empower people to make investments in themselves.”

Emmanuel House purchased their building at 73 S. LaSalle St. in 2012. After a major renovation, they are now moved into part of the second story and share offices with World Relief, who occupies the ground floor of the building.

World Relief helps to resettle refugees and was formerly located at 14 W. Downer Pl. in downtown Aurora.

Emmanuel House and World Relief are celebrating with an open house on Thursday, May 22 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.