UMHC History

"This is truly a home in the best sense of the word. It is a place of compassion and caring."

In 1917, local Methodists turned a dream into a reality when they were granted a charter to establish a home for central Pennsylvania's orphaned children. Christened "The Christ House" and located on Main Street in Mechanicsburg, the house quickly filled to capacity with nineteen children. A local farm was purchased and in 1926 the children moved to the present location between Mechanicsburg and Shiremanstown. The orphanage was known for its beautiful, hand cut limestone buildings and the name was changed to The Methodist Home for Children.

Truly a home in the best sense of the word, during the next fifty years, children who were orphaned, homeless, neglected, or abused found refuge at The Methodist Home. Under the guidance of dedicated and loving house mothers, many of the children lived at the Home from grade school until college. The Methodist Home for Children grew rapidly, adding buildings to the campus of an agency that would eventually serve thousands of central Pennsylvania children.

By 1970, society had drastically changed. Nationwide, the orphanage system of caring for children was being replaced by foster care and adoption. And while the number of social service programs was steadily increasing, unfortunately, so was the number of troubled children. To effectively address the complex needs of these types of children, the Home entered a period of transition which led to its present status as a widely respected Community Group Facility.

Today, the United Methodist Home for Children is "home" to local children who are victims of the social environment. Our program provides residential care for hundreds of central Pennsylvania children every year. The children attend public schools, maintain a daily study hour, have chores, volunteer in the community, and participate in a wide variety of athletic and extracurricular activities. Professional care is provided by a team of dedicated staff members.

A place of compassion and caring, hurting children of all ages, races, and religions have found refuge at the Home throughout the years. The United Methodist Home for Children continues to be an asset to the central Pennsylvania community, preserving the community's greatest asset - its children.

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