Nashua Children’s Home has a century-long tradition and a history of responsiveness to community needs. In 1899, Josiah Fletcher donated property on the corner of Burrett and Brook Streets in Nashua to the First Baptist Church “for the purpose of maintaining a home for orphans and destitute children of Nashua and vicinity.” The agency commenced operation in 1903 as the “Nashua Protestant Orphanage Association,” administered by a Board of Directors representing all of the Protestant Churches of Nashua.
The orphanage was moved to 125 Amherst Street in 1922. By the mid-1900’s, orphanages across the nation were struggling to meet the needs of children and families who were products of an increasingly troubled society. As recommended in 1970 by the Child Welfare League of America, the Association was reorganized with a more professional staff. The orphanage became officially non-denominational, and the name, “Nashua Children’s Association,” was adopted. In 1979, an on-grounds special education school was added to provide instruction for children of surrounding school districts whose very special needs could not be met in the public schools. In 1982 a girls residential program was constructed in response to the severe shortage within the State of New Hampshire of residential services for girls. A continued shortage of resources within New Hampshire, compounded by increasing need, prompted an expansion of both the residential and educational programs in 1989. A new home for girls was opened at a separate location, 86 Concord Street, in 1993. The Carriage House at this location is presently utilized as an “Independent Living Home,” preparing girls, ages 16 and older, for the obstacles of adult living. An Independent Living Home for boys opened at 119 Amherst Street in 2002.
In order to more accurately reflect its mission to children and families, the name of the organization was changed to Nashua Children’s Home in 1998. Current services at Nashua Children’s Home are provided by a host of professional direct-service staff, including bachelors-level residential counselors and supervisors, certified special education teachers and classroom aides. Individual, family and group counseling in both the Residential and Educational programs are provided by masters level therapists. In addition to administrative staff, a number of child-centered support staff complement ongoing efforts on behalf of children, youth and their families.
Nashua Children’s Home is proud of its successful history and will continue to respond to the contemporary needs of the community.