Empowering families through a continuum of behavioral health services to increase hope, relieve distress, and achieve promising futures.
The empowerment of women has been the guiding concept of Florence Crittenton Services for over a century. Our organization is an outgrowth of one of the greatest philanthropic movements of all time: Charles Crittenton opened the first Mission in 1883 in New York City to rescue outcast women and girls. The movement spread and was quickly established on a national level. The initial gift to the Topeka area, $100, was made in 1900. Over the years the objective has changed from rescue to services for pregnant women and girls to prevention and advocacy for at–risk young women and, in turn, women of all ages and backgrounds.
Florence Crittenton, a child who died of scarlet fever before she reached her fifth birthday, lived from 1877–1882. Her father, Charles Crittenton, was so distraught over the death of his daughter that he sought a way to make her name live forever. As a result of a religious experience, Mr. Crittenton established the Bleeker Street Mission in New York City to save the lives of girls and women who had abandoned themselves to the streets. With Mr. Crittenton’s help, missions were established all over the country. Many people who know the Crittenton name associate it with support for unwed mothers. While this is an important part of Crittenton’s legacy, the program has changed over time to meet the increasingly complex and acute needs of at–risk and system–involved girls, young women and their families across the state of Kansas.
Much has changed in society since the early days of the Crittenton beginnings. As times have changed, so has Florence Crittenton Services. Today, Florence Crittenton provides a continuum of Behavioral Health services serving youth, women and families.