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History

One of the oldest and most respected non-profit organizations in Tucson, Casa de los Niños has been caring for abused and abandoned children since 1973.

Our founder was Sister Kathleen Clark, an emergency room nurse at St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s Hospitals. Having seen the same children in the emergency room — over and over again — Sister Kathleen prayed that someone, somewhere would do something about child abuse. Soon, she realized this “someone” needed to be her.

Using a home she was offered on the corner of N. 4th Avenue and E. Speedway Boulevard, Sister Kathleen opened one of the first crisis nurseries in the United States. In subsequent years, a number of similar programs were launched around the country using Casa de los Niños as their model.

Sister Kathleen was tireless in her efforts to help the children. Her “little black book” of local business leaders was probably the best in Tucson. She befriended them all. And she was not shy when it came to asking them for help!

Casa de los Niños quickly became Tucson’s baby. Community volunteers came forward to help in the nursery. Others brought diapers, clothes and toys. Still others sent financial gifts. Such support enabled the agency to survive…and then to grow. Today, we offer a number of programs designed to prevent child abuse and to help families in need.

In 1983, friends persuaded Sister Kathleen to publish a history of Casa de los Niños. Entitled “A Dream Come True,” it is a moving narrative of the agency’s early years. To get a copy of Sister Kathleen’s book, please call 520-624-5600.