This collection contains the records of the San Diego Center for Children of which includes details of registered children,
scrapbooks, photographs, and documents regarding internal operations.
In 1887, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, San Diego Chapter, invested $1000 in a “home for indigent gentlewomen.” On
February 17, 1887, the Center, located at 1365 16th Street, began as the Women’s Home Association for poor, aged and destitute
women. In 1888, the Women’s Home Association created a Day Care Nursery as a service for working mothers and widowed fathers.
The County began placing more and more children in the Day Nursery due to a surge of disadvantaged people. San Diego businessman
and philanthropist, Byrant Howard, proposed a union of the Woman’s Home and Day Nursery and his Children’s Industrial Home
which was an organization to serve the needs of homeless, abused, and delinquent children in San Diego. The Home and Day Nursery
accepted the proposal which qualified the establishment for state aid. The San Diego Children’s Industrial Home, relocated
to the present site of the Naval Hospital. In 1898, the name was changed to the Women’s and Children’s Home of San Diego and
then the name was changed once again in 1904 to the San Diego Children’s Home Association. Finally, in 1975, the San Diego
Children’s Home Association changed its name to the San Diego Center for Children. In an agreement with the City in the 1950s,
the Home received an eight-acre building site in Kearny Mesa and $160,500 in cash in exchange for its 16th Street property
which would be bisected by freeway construciton in 1957. An additional amount of $130,000 was raised through a fundraising
campaign for the new Home, and on January 9, 1959, construction began of the Home at its present location on 3002 Armstrong
Street in Kearny Mesa. The new Home consisted of three child care cottages, a classroom, a utility building, and a treatment
building, which housed administration offices. The classroom, called the Cosgrove School, was the Home’s first on-grounds
classroom with a capacity for nine children at a time.