Celebrating 132 Years of Caring for Children

132 years ago, Bishop Machebeuf approached Mother Xavier Ross of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth to build an orphanage in Denver. It was the heyday of the gold rush, and people flocked to the gold and silver mines in the Colorado mountains to make their fortunes. The harsh conditions made the camps unsuitable for children, so on a hill in North Denver, Mount Saint Vincent Home for Children was built in 1883. The imposing three-story red brick building included classrooms, offices, a chapel, recreation rooms, and dormitories. The cost of construction was $15,000.

Within a week of its opening, 50 children were in residence. Within a few months, there were nearly 200 children housed. The care of orphaned children continued until 1969, when orphanages were phased out in favor of foster care. As a result, Mount Saint Vincent became a residential treatment center for children suffering from physical or sexual abuse, severe neglect, or mental illness.

In 2012, Mount Saint Vincent was granted the prestigious flagship site designation by The ChildTrauma Academy of Houston, Texas, making it the fourth treatment facility in the world to earn the distinction. In order to earn the designation, the clinical team completed the ChildTrauma Academy’s extensive Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) Training Certification Program. The NMT model focuses on stimulating brain development to help children overcome the debilitating effects of abuse and neglect.

Whether as an orphanage or a treatment center, more than 18,000 children have passed through Mount Saint Vincent’s doors. The agency remains steadfast in its commitment to care for children.

To take a tour and learn more about the history of Mount Saint Vincent, contact Kay Mcdowell at 303-964-1137 or e-mail kmcdowell@msvhome.org.


Photo credit: Denver Public Library

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