Mary Wade

150 Years of Caring

On September 8th 1866, a group of women from prominent Connecticut families met at the home of Mrs. Henrietta Whitney. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the establishment of “The Home for the Friendless,” a shelter for homeless (and often pregnant) young women in need of support and guidance. The mission then, as it is now, was to provide a friendly, home-like atmosphere to individuals in need of either temporary or permanent housing.

The exterior of the original Mary Wade Home Original residents of the Mary Wade Home reading by the fireplace

In the late 1890s, it was clear that the Home needed funds to modernize and expand.  They soon found a benefactor in philanthropist Lucy Hall Boardman, who in 1897 donated $20,000 in the name of her sister – Mary P. Wade.  However, the name “Mary Wade Home” wasn’t officially adopted until 1966 when it was decided that the name “Home for the Friendless” had grown outdated.

Original residents of the Mary Wade Home enjoying the outdoors

As social trends changed and new needs arose, the original focus of Mary Wade’s services shifted to meet those needs.  In 1917 it became a home for elderly women and by 1966 had evolved into a full service facility for all mature adults.  Today, we remain as committed as ever to our core principles.  Though our residents, facilities, and city have changed considerably over the past 150 years, our founding philosophy of personal service and gentle care remains steadfast and resolute.