If you scrolled back 126 years, it would be hard to imagine the achievements…almost 6,000 new families formed through adoption, thousands of young adults with disabilities able to hold jobs and young adults who can now live independently in a way they never dreamed possible. Young women and men, no longer homeless. Parents with increased parenting skills. Providence Place has a history in which it can take great pride.
The Early Days: A Refuge For Unwed Mothers
Providence Place, which opened its doors in 1895 and quickly outgrew three other locations, built its 25-acre campus in northwest San Antonio in 1968. We have a long and transformative history that few other non-profits share. During the course of our journey, we have had to make changes in the way we perceive and adapt to the subject of adoption. In those days, it was the mentality that young expectant mothers could be spirited away to have their babies, place them for adoption and return to their normal lives – high school, college, work – as if nothing had happened. For would-be parents who couldn’t conceive, it was a godsend – they could have a family at last. Up through the mid-1970s, this model worked. Every year, hundreds of girls from all over Texas came to Methodist Mission Home, as we were then known, and adoptive parents went home proudly with a new family member. The trend toward open adoptions made ongoing relationships between birth mothers and adoptive parents a reality. These and other social changes meant far less stigma about pregnancies outside marriage. With safer medical practices for abortions and accessibility to birth control, young women had more control over their lives – and their pregnancies. The drastic drop in birth mothers allowed us as an organization to find new purpose and to adapt in order to help others where the need is great.
Our foundational belief is that all people are created in God’s image and, therefore, are valuable and full of potential. As a result:
We honor the sacredness of life.
We see the dignity of every person and serve with love, compassion, and hope.
We seek just solutions that free, heal, and restore those who are hurting.
We recognize that families are diverse, yet fundamental to personal well-being and to healthy and prosperous communities.
Reliving Yesteryear Day By Day: Support For Young Adults With Disabilities
Providence Place had already identified a need to help young adults with hearing impairments transition to independent living after work, life and social skills training. The buildings and space were a perfect fit for the new program, which began in 1974 and later expanded to include other young people with cognitive and physical disabilities. The work training program and pulled in partners to help grow the culinary training effort, among others.
Thousands of students have graduated from Providence Place’s Disability Services, Oasis Home and Legacy and the large majority hold paying jobs, maintain a home of their own and, in some cases, have married. The stories they tell about their struggle to achieve a basic level of independence are intensely moving. We no longer provide those services, but have maintained relationships with many of the students who once called Providence Place their home.
“Providence Place circa 1967”
Present Day: A Haven For Many
Through our many years of operation, Providence Place has transcended into the organization it is today. While we have changed our mindset and programs over time, one thing will forever be etched into our hearts – the calling and passion to help all those who come through our doors.
We are a refuge for women who have survived horrific trauma through our My Mariposa Home, which provides Trauma Informed Care solutions and solace and allows the women to regain their dignity. We also serve parents, with life skills so that they and their children may thrive through our Parenting with a Purpose program. We help individuals and families wishing to become licensed foster and adoptive parents learn more through our info sessions. We help provide expectant mother’s with adoption planning. We assist our community partners with young women who have become homeless with our emergency shelter program Oasis Home. Couple’s wishing to become parents come to us for our Private Adoption services. Young adults and community partners, who are seeking extended foster care services reach out to us about our Supervised Independent Living Program
Providence Place is a licensed child placement agency in San Antonio, TX. In addition, we are a unique 501(c)3 non-profit that provides multi-purpose programming to survivors of complex trauma, expectant mothers, families with children under the age of three and youth in foster care. All donations are tax deductible. EIN # 74-1168923
6487 Whitby Road
San Antonio, Texas 78240