Watch this video telling the story of Lawrence Hall's history
Lawrence Hall was founded in 1865 to meet the needs of the thousands of orphaned children of the Civil War. The Rev. Martin Van Arsdale responded to their needs by opening one of the city’s first shelters for homeless boys. Eventually, these shelters became known as Lawrence Hall School for Boys. Judge Mary Bartelme, a pioneer in the juvenile justice system and college of Jane Adams in the settlement movement, opened her home to troubled girls. In 1960, the Mary Bartelme Club merged with the Chicago Home for Girls, creating “Mary Bartelme Homes and Services.”
In 1988, Lawrence Hall School for Boys and Bartelme Homes & Services merged to create Lawrence Hall Youth Services. In 2015 we celebrated 150 years of serving Chicago; we redefined our mission and vision to extend support further than just youth. We started a new chapter and continue to grow in our community based programming. We opened up two new sites for our Foster Care program located in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood and our Lawrence Hall’s Project Work, multiple programs focusing on workforce development, in the South Shore community. Our new sites seek to serve our children directly in their own communities.