In 1908, the Sisters of Providence founded the St. Thomas Home, a children’s orphanage, in Great Falls, Montana. But the sisters opened more than a home for orphans – it was a school and a boarding house for children who lived in rural areas, and a safe environment for children whose parents were faced with hard times.
St. Thomas Home became a Child and Family Center in the mid-1960s as the needs of the community changed. St. Thomas evolved to become a childcare service at a time when support for working-parent families became critical.
For over 100 years the programs and services at St. Thomas have impacted more than 5,000 children through the orphanage, and over 3,500 children through the early childcare and development centers.
Today, the Sisters of Providence is known as Providence Health & Services with healthcare ministries throughout the Northwest Region of the United States. In Great Falls, the University of Great Falls also is a member of Providence Health & Services.