History

May of 1911, at the request of His Grace the Most Reverend Archbishop Riordan, Sisters Joseph and Agnes were sent to Oakland to select a site for an establishment. What they found was the Charles D. and Laura Haven House, an 1863 Queen Anne house with 14 rooms and a very early (c. 1864) Italianate vernacular farmhouse. The price was considered a bargain at the time, and the purchase was completed on May 24, 1911.

On the Feast of the Guardian Angels, October 2, 1911, Most Rev. Archbishop Riordan, assisted by Msgr. Prendergast, V.G., Fathers McNally, Dempsey, and Galli dedicated the new Holy Family convent and St. Vincent’s Day Home, which were all under the same roof (the Day Home occupied the second floor).

The Home opened on October 16, 1911. The first children received were 3 1/2-year old twin boys. By November, there were 32 children cared for in the Day Home. Since then, more than 35,000 children have passed through our doors, and our grand Queen Anne has gone through numerous renovations to keep pace.

Timeline

1911

  • SVDH is founded by the Sisters of the Holy Family to care for children of the working poor. Within one month, the Day Home is serving 32 children. By 1915 there are 78 children enrolled

1920s

  • The Eighth Street site is dedicated entirely to the Day Home as the Sisters move their convent to the old home of Mr. H. Butters at Piedmont, known as “Alta Vista”
  • The United Crusade (United Way) begins funding the Day Home

1930s – 1940s

  • 180 children enrolled
  • First expansion project to accommodate growing population

1970s

  • Recognized as a leader in the field, the Day Home makes presentation at the White House Conference on Children
  • First Parent Board is established
  • In 1976, a major expansion includes new school building and accessory school structures

1980s

  • Saint Vincent’s Day Home celebrates its 75th anniversary
  • Launches the “Children’s Fund” endowment campaign

1990s

  • First lay Board of Directors is appointed and successfully completes the transition of ownership of the Corporation and the facility (from Sisters of the Holy Family)
  • Children enrolled reaches 250
  • Children’s Fund tops $3 million
  • In 1998, the Day Home launches a Capital Campaign to raise $2.6 million for major expansion and renovation

2000s

  • In 2000, Construction begins on four new classrooms, Hedco family literacy center; and ramps, lifts, and elevators for ADA accessibility. Construction is completed in 2002
  • In 2005, Chevron gives $200,000 to fund first year of operations for the Hedco Family Literacy Center
  • In 2007, Saint Vincent’s is awarded $208,000 for Pre-Kindergarten & Family Literacy Program from the California Department of Education

2011

  • Saint Vincent’s Day Home Celebrates 100 years of service to the children and families of West Oakland, serving over 33,000 children since its doors opened in 1911