Our founder, Sister Kathleen Clark, was 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 a source of pride for the Tucson community. Volunteers came forward to help in the nursery. Others brought diapers, clothes and toys. Still others sent financial gifts. Such support enabled the organization to survive…and then to grow. Today, our work has expanded far beyond shelter care. We provide a wide array of programs and services designed to promote child well-being and family stability.
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 organization’s early years. To get a copy of Sister Kathleen’s book, please call 520-624-5600.