History of Boys Hope Girls Hope St. Louis

In 1977, Father Paul Sheridan
, SJ, envisioned a program combining a quality education and a nurturing home environment to benefit children-in-need. His idea was to maximize the long-term results of the program by providing stability, fostering personal responsibility and optimizing each child's ability to fulfill his/her potential.


The first Boys Hope Girls Hope home opened in St. Louis in 1978--a two-family flat adjacent to St. Louis University High (SLUH) which was leased to the program for $1 a year. Although structurally sound, the building needed a tremendous amount of work before it could house scholars, and a dedicated corps of volunteers--including SLUH students and their families--worked long hours to restore the building.


In 1984 our first graduate became a college freshman. That same year, we grew to serving over 100 children in 10 homes spread across the country. Our work in Latin America began in 1987 with the opening of Vida Jovem (Brazil), followed by Esperanza Juvenil in Guatemala in 1990.


In 1991 Boys Hope Girls Hope opened its first home for girls in Pittsburgh, PA. By 1993 we were up to 19 homes and 52 college students. 2001 saw the opening of a home for boys in Baltimore and our second home for girls in Pittsburgh, bringing the total number of homes to 38 (U.S. and abroad). Our newest home in the U.S. began operations in Kansas City in 2004.


In 1993, Boys Hope Girls Hope of St. Louis opened its first girls' home in Kirkwood, and in August of 1998, the boys' home moved to its present location on the campus of Maryville University.


Today, there are 170 children in residence (U.S.), 102 in the international programs and 21 being served in a community-based program being piloted in Phoenix, AZ. In addition, we are supporting 103 collegians attending universities and colleges throughout the United States.


Boys Hope Girls Hope operates 31 homes located in: Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York, Southern California, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and St. Louis.


Internationally, we operate homes in Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Guatemala.