Originally located at this spot on Wickenden Street, the shelter was founded by white Quaker
women in 1838 as a house set up to care for and assimilate children of color who were orphaned
and/or in need. After a fi re in 1847, the shelter was moved to 20 Olive Street. The shelter has
transformed into a foundation that supports organizations serving Black children to this day.
“The parents were looking for adequate child care, while the founders had different ideas: they
shared many of the period’s views about the children of the poor, who, they believed, needed to
be taught how to work and how to behave.” — ProvidenceShelter.org