The Emmaus Institute, Inc. was founded in 1968 as the Open Ear Associates to carry out a ministry to the inner city population of Boston, MA. It took its name from Isaiah 50:5 and established the first halfway house based rehabilitation program for African-American alcoholics.
In 1979 the organization, now known as the Commonwealth Center for Community Health Development, expanded its scope to work on behalf of the development of holistic primary care for medically underserved populations. In 1996 it became The Emmaus Institute, Inc. It is a 501(c) 3 tax exempt non-profit organization and is currently based in Nashua, New Hampshire. The Emmaus Institute, Inc. is a member of the Nashua Area Interfaith Council and the New Hampshire Council of Churches.