About Us

We work together with children, adults, and families to build resilience and a sense of worth

145 years of taking care of Rhode Island’s most vulnerable children

Since 1879, St. Mary’s has been caring for Rhode Island’s children. As a non-profit agency, we increase the safety, stability, and well-being of children facing issues such as psychiatric illness, sexual abuse and trafficking, and special education challenges. Today, we also help adults overcome trauma experiences. We offer three program areas:

  • Residential Services: Five houses on our North Providence, RI, campus provide safe, supportive living for children ages 6-18 with a full range of individual, group, and family clinical services.
  • Outpatient Services (Known as the Shepherd Program): Working with children, adults, and families, Outpatient provides in-office and in-community mental health programming using multiple unique methods to support those impacted by sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, and other trauma, such as family violence and physical abuse.
  • The George N. Hunt Campus School (GNHCS): Working with both Residential and Day Students, our school provides highly structured, individualized special education instruction and therapeutic services for K-12 students with learning, social, emotional, and behavioral challenges.

At St. Mary’s, we focus on treatment and healing while providing the support and skills necessary for the preservation of families through programs tailored to meet the diverse needs of our clients. The work we do together can be difficult. It takes extraordinary effort and dedication on the part of staff, volunteers, community members, and especially those we serve. But the result is inspiring: children, adults, and families who once again believe in themselves and their ability to lead fulfilled, meaningful lives.

Whether you are an individual whose child requires special attention for mental health or special education, an adult seeking therapeutic help, an individual donor, a community partner, or a representative of a business or government agency, we welcome you to discover more about what our services can do for you and the children you care about.

St. Mary’s does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or any other protected category in accordance with applicable law.

Mission and values

Our History

St. Mary’s Home for Children opened its doors in 1877 as an orphanage within the Episcopal Diocese. Reverend Daniel Ingalls Odell was rector of St. Mary’s Church in East Providence, Rhode Island, when a couple in his parish died, leaving two children. During the same winter another couple died, leaving five children. Father Odell took them in and provided for their care. 

In 1879, St. Mary’s became an Incorporated Institution, under the name of St. Mary’s Orphanage, governed by a Board of Trustees, with the Bishop of the Diocese as President.

By 1925, so many applications were being received that it became necessary to find larger quarters. In 1926, Mrs. Theodore Gibbs from Newport, contributed one hundred thousand dollars to St. Mary’s Orphanage. Seven acres of land were purchased in North Providence for a new location. After fifty years in East Providence, Rhode Island, St. Mary’s moved to its present site on Fruit Hill Avenue in North Providence. In 1928, the charter was revised to rename the orphanage, “St. Mary’s Home for Children.” St. Mary’s has always been a non-profit agency, committed to serving the changing needs of children and families.

Learn more about St Mary's

Learn more about St. Mary’s

Watch a client story video and St. Mary’s story on the Rhode Island PBS Series “Our Town: North Providence.” Also, read our Annual Reports, Newsletters, Blog, and Press page.

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Receive news from St. Mary’s

Join our email list to receive periodic emails about things happening at St. Mary’s Home for Children and the George N. Hunt Campus School.

Programs and services

Learn about our Programs and Services

Learn details about each of our programs and also how you can obtain services from St. Mary’s.

Join us to make a difference

Help make a difference for children and families

Learn ways that you can get involved and make a difference for children right here at home in Rhode Island.