A local business that provides prenatal massages to expecting mothers is donating the proceeds of some treatments to help support women and youth at risk of being homeless when their babies are born.

The Soma Hammam & Spa in Seton has gotten together with Emma House, an organization that provides housing and support for pregnant women and youth who have nowhere else to go.

Lourdes Juan, director of the spa, says they are always focused on making sure their clients get a very good treatment and they wanted to make sure all new moms are treated properly too.

She says all the staff at Soma are female and their clients are all women too, so there is a big connection to ‘mothers helping mothers.’

“We designed a prenatal package where proceeds of the package would go to the Emma House and the programs and services that they offer.”

Juan says they are also taking donations so they can buy hygienic products and put together packages for the women at the centre.

Carmin Moore, the executive director at Emma House, says the partnership with Soma is very important to them.

“We are so thankful for partners like Soma Spa, for their generosity,” she says. “Homelessness is a very complex issue and to get individuals, businesses and corporations involved is crucial.”

Moore says the work they do at Emma House helps provide young women with the skills they need to build a sustainable future for them and their babies.

“We have life skills programming, we have ‘mentoring moms’ programming where an in-house mom is connected to a volunteer mom and that is so that they can build their informal and social supports.”

She says that being homeless and pregnant is one of the most vulnerable situations that young women or girls can find themselves in.

“There are specific needs that a pregnant woman needs which cannot often be met in an emergency shelter. So Emma House works to fill in those gaps and provide a safe place that is a home-like atmosphere for the women that find themselves in that situation.”

You don’t need to be an expectant mother to help in the fundraiser.

“We can switch out the massage to just a regular registered massage therapist massage and you’ll be able to let us know that you’d like to have some of the proceeds to go to the Emma House,” Juan says.

You can also make donations directly at Soma Spa or attend Emma House’s inaugural fundraising gala in April.

(With files from Stephanie Wiebe)