Board Opportunities

Emma Norton Services


Emma Norton Services was founded in 1917 to offer a socially acceptable place for young women coming of age to live on their own in pursuit of their educational and occupational life goals. As society changed over the next 50 years, women gained independence and were free to rent their own apartments and didn’t need housing that included chaperones. From the 1970’s to the early 1980’s, ENS offered housing with additional services to many groups needing extra supports, and was in a prime position to begin offering emergency shelter services to women in Ramsey County that were experiencing homelessness. Out of those early shelter roots, Emma Norton Services has grown into a $4 million dollar organization that provides permanent (long term) supportive housing through a variety of programs and models to individuals and families who have experienced homelessness as well as have a disabling condition. Today, ENS serves approximately 300 clients per year and is on track to increase that number.

Strategic Priorities

The board formally adopted a strategic plan in 2020 and is working on a strategic refresh of that plan in 2023. This plan adopted six main pillar areas that we are striving to deepen and achieve within the organization. The pillars are Culture, Healing/Wholeness, Financial/Organizational Viability, Communication, Engagement and Pandemic Response. The current priorities include:

1) Completing construction on a new housing development, Restoring Waters, and our new organizational headquarters to be occupied in the spring of 2024;
2) Continuing to integrate the Sanctuary model and trauma informed care throughout the organization to better support the healing and recovery within those receiving services, as well as our employees and other stakeholders;
3) To increase our financial stability and viability;
4) To foster engagement and partnerships within the new neighborhood (Highland Bridge) that we will be moving into.

The full plan can be accessed on our website at


Annual Budget: $4 million – Foundations, Individual Contributions, Government Grants or Contracts


Emma Norton Services is seeking board members with skills in the following areas:

  • Facilities and Real Estate
  • Financial Management
  • Human Resources
  • Technology

ENS seeks individuals with a genuine desire to help our local work to provide safe, affordable housing & services to women/families in transition. We are focused on bringing perspectives aligned with the needs/experiences of our clients, including candidates that identify as BIPOC, have experienced homelessness, substance use, & other traumas, or have experienced the need for social services in their lives. Bringing perspectives based on lived experiences are just as important, if not more, than specific professional experience, though candidates with Finance and HR experience are also needed.


  • Number of members currently: 16
  • Meeting time and frequency:  9 meetings annually
  • Meeting location: Virtual
  • Does nonprofit carry liability insurance? Yes


  • Time Expectation: Up to 5 hours/month
  • Financial Contribution Required: No
  • Service on Committee Required: Yes
    • Committees: Executive, Finance, Governance, Fundraising, Other
  • Length of Term: 3 Years
  • Renewable: Yes

Questions about this board opportunity?



670 Robert St N St. Paul, MN 55101


Transformational housing for women and families on their journey of recovery.