“The Home for the Friendless” was a ministry founded by a group of Christian women in Williamsport in 1872. The original name of the ministry was the Woman’s Christian Association. The women changed the name of their Association to the Home for the Friendless in 1876.
The Home for the Friendless, originally located on Pine Street, provided for the temporal, moral, and religious welfare of homeless and friendless women and children, especially aged women.
Elderly women had to be over 65 years of age and have no other means of support. Children were admitted for a limited period of time. Although age guidelines changed over the years, children had to have either only one or no parents. The parent or guardian was to pay for board and shoes when they were able. Often the children returned to their families when their family situation stabilized.
In 1940, the Home for the Friendless began to phase out providing care for children and its name was changed to The Williamsport Home. When the last child left the Home, the organization, created by ten women and with the support of the community, had cared for hundreds and hundreds of needy children over a period of almost 80 years.
In 1975, The Williamsport Home moved to its present location at 1900 Ravine Road. The Williamsport Home continues to serve senior women as well as men, and is managed by a volunteer, all-female board of directors.
*History obtained from The Lycoming County Historical Society’s Journal Volume XLIX/Winter 2013/14 and The Lycoming County Women’s Historical Collection