Denver Children's Home restores hope and health to traumatized children and families through a comprehensive array of therapeutic, educational and community-based services.
The Ladies Relief Society formed Denver Orphans Home in 1876 to take care of the orphans being brought to Colorado to build railroads and work in the mines. In 1883, the first residence was built. It was two-stories on a half-block site at 1600 Race Street. Within days, 40 children filled the Denver Orphans Home. By 1889, 1,128 children considered Denver Orphans Home their home. In 1902, the Home moved to its current location at 1501 Albion Street. The 50-room complex was designed by prominent Denver architects Willis A. Marean and Albert J. Norton. The building looks much the same today as the day it was finished in 1902. As the need for homes for orphaned children ended, the organization evolved its mission in the 1960 and became Denver Children's Home in 1962. Today, we serve a significantly challenged population; we care for the State's abused and neglected children. 98 percent of the children at Denver Children's Home come from families whose income levels are below federal poverty guidelines. By the time our clients reach us, more than a third of them have been involved with the Juvenile Justice System, the majority has passed through the social services system and most have failed in one or more academic and/or mental health settings.
In eight grade I was physically and emotionally abused by my grandmother. Because of that, I felt that I did not deserve to be happy and that I should not be alive. Going to school became harder and harder. I couldn't sit still in a classroom without being overwhelmed with sadness and anxiety. My body temperature would rise, my hands would sweat, my stomach would hurt, and sometimes I would throw up.
When I got to Denver Children's Home, I was nervous and a little disengaged at the beginning. It was hard to get used to a new school and to feel that I belonged. My therapist and my mom signed me up for ZUMA. On the first day, I met Lola. I was initially scared - she was a stranger to me and so huge. However, she quickly made me feel peaceful and safe. I again felt that I had something to look forward to. Lola has taught me to be patient and to feel connected with life. The relationship I have built with Lola is like no other.
I am thankful for my mom, my step dad, my therapist, Lola and all the other people that support me every day. My life has changed in a good way thanks to them. -- Elijah Former Denver Children's Home Client