A group of public-spirited citizens, concerned about the problem of “wayward girls” in their midst, decided to establish the House of Mercy, a rescue home. They paid $6000 to purchase the property at 519 West Fourth Street, on September 3, 1894. $3000 was paid in cash, $1500 came from the city of Lexington who retained a lien against the property, and the remaining $1500 came from an anonymous donor. The home was among the earliest established in America with the emphasis of “saving and rescuing the fallen and degraded.” The agency was named the Lexington House of Mercy.
By the mid 1940’s professional social workers were employed by the Home. In 1951 the Board of Education began sending teachers to the Home for “Homebound Education”. By the 1960’s, Fayette County was providing two teachers and teaching supplies to the Home. In October of 1967 Christ the King church donated a small school building, and in January of 1968 Fayette County began providing a teacher for the residents and pregnant non-resident girls who attended school on-site.
In July of 1963 the policy of admitting only white clients was changed to allow all no matter of race, creed or color. By 1964 the University of Kentucky Medical Center handled all deliveries and medical care.
In 1982 an Emergency Shelter program for non-pregnant committed girls who resided in Kentucky was begun. A treatment license was applied for and received in 1997.
Community Development Block Grant monies were used to renovate the Home in 1998. Among many improvements, the Home now had air-conditioning.
Council on Accreditation attests that Florence Crittenton Home & Services, Inc. is accredited through October, 2013. Meeting the Highest National Standards of Professional Performance.
Community Development Block Grant monies were used to renovate and add-on to the kitchen. A modern, commercial kitchen has made meal preparation an easy chore.
A new school building was completed. Two classrooms, a workroom, central air, and a bathroom have made for a comfortable, safe place to learn.