Title: Administrative Records of the Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario
Series: 520/2 Church Home for Girls
Dates: 1945 – 1976
Extent: 1.5 m textual records, photographs and other materials
Finding Aid: The Finding Aid includes File Description and Box Lists.
In 1911, the Winnipeg Women’s Union of the Presbyterian Church amalgamated with the Women’s Moral Reform Council in order to undertake the support of a Social Service Rescue Home on Simcoe Street in Winnipeg. Social Service Homes, previously called Redemptive or Rescue Homes, were initially involved with rescuing women from ‘white slavery’, or what we now call prostitution. Often the point of initial contact would be in providing a safe place for a woman alone to await the birth of a child. Both the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches operated rescue homes in Winnipeg. Eventually, the work expanded to include work with all women who had ‘fallen’ and with unwed mothers. The Social Service Board of the Presbyterian Church provided financial support for the Home and the Women’s Union was responsible for day to day management and any extra expenses. A second home was opened next door in 1913. In 1917, the Women’s Union joined with the Methodist Deaconess Aid Society in the operation of the Home. In 1923 the United Social Service Home, as it was now called, was relocated to Kildonan. In 1929 the Anglican Church began contributing funding and became involved in the operation of the home. Around this time it began to be known as the Church Home for Girls. For most of its life span, the Church Home for Girls simply offered accommodation to unmarried women awaiting the birth of their children. These children would then almost always be placed for adoption. By 1959, the Church Home was operated under the supervision and direction of the Provincial Department of Child Welfare. The Home was essentially independent from the United Church when it was incorporated in 1962, however, the United Church continued to provide membership for the Home’s Board and to receive annual reports.
Changing attitudes to single motherhood in the 1960s led to decreased demand for the pre-natal services of the Church Home for Girls, referrals fell off and it was eventually closed in 1974. In response to the growing trend among teen-aged mothers to keep their babies the Home became involved with the McMillan House Project that offered postpartum accommodation for single mothers and their infants along with instruction in child care and housekeeping skills. McMillan House operated at 824 McMillan Avenue from 1972 to 1976. Despite the closure of the facility known as the Church Home for Girls in Kildonan in 1974, the name of the corporate entity responsible for the McMillan House program remained the Church Home for Girls until it was wound up in 1976.
Correspondence pertaining to the closure of McMillan House in 1976 (found among the records of the Anglican Women’s Auxiliary and housed at the Archives of the Anglican Church of Canada, Diocese of Rupert’s Land) indicates that the bulk of the administrative records of the Church Home for Girls and the McMillan House project came to the Conference Archives at that time. Exceptions include tax receipts and ‘old legal documents’ that were sent to Winnipeg Presbytery, funding records that were sent to the United Way and research materials that were sent to the Social Planning Council. Client records were repatriated to Provincial Child Welfare agencies.
Scope and Content
Records of the Church Home for Girls that are described here include Minutes of the Board, 1959-1976; Lists of Board Members, 1955-1976; Records of Incorporation and Policy, 1957-1962; Annual Corporation Returns, 1971-1975; Annual Reports, 1945-1975; Reports of the Superintendent and Executive Director, 1956-1974; Statistical Reports, 1963-1973; Board Correspondence, 1958-1970; Executive Director’s Correspondence, 1971-1976; Finance Committee Correspondence, 1960-1963; records pertaining to United Way Admission, 1965-1966; Financial Reports, 1933-1975; records pertaining to Insurance, 1961-1974; Property Records, 1962-1966; records of Publicity, [ca.1940]-1975; History and Program, 1957-1974; Resource Materials, 1938-1975; Lists of Former Residents, [before 1976]; records of the McMillan House Project, 1972-1976; and records of the Women’s Auxiliary, 1948-1975. Records include five publicity photographs.
Further records pertaining to the Church Home for Girls may be found with the records of Winnipeg Presbytery.
Records pertaining to the closure of the Church Home for Girls’ McMillan House project in 1976, the sale of the property and the disposition of the Home’s records are found among the records of the Anglican Women’s Auxiliary, housed at the Archives of the Anglican Church of Canada, Diocese of Rupert’s Land in Winnipeg (Box # DRL-84-26).
Access to material containing identifying information about individuals is restricted. Consult the Keeper of the Archives for more information.