Elon Homes for Children
Elon Homes for Children was founded in Elon, North Carolina, as an orphanage in 1907. In 1892, a young lady deposited the sixty-five cents in an offering plate at a church meeting and made the statement that she would like the gift to grow and become an orphanage. The Christian Orphanage opened its doors on January 28, 1907, and it was operated by the Southern Convention of Christian Churches until 1931. At that time, the Congregational and Christian Churches merged, whereupon Elon Homes became an institution of the Southern Convention of these churches.
In February 1964, the name was changed from the Congregational Christian Homes for Children to Elon Homes for Children Inc., because the agency had become part of the United Church of Christ.
A child could be accepted into the orphanage even if their mother was still living, since women who lost their husbands were not considered the family provider. Also infants were not accepted because there was no nursery. The boys worked on the orphanage farm and the girls did the domestic work which made it largely self-sufficient.
Boys Town of North Carolina, which was founded in Charlotte in 1970, merged with Elon Homes for Children in 1985 and soon added services for girls. The Elon Homes administrative campus was relocated to Charlotte in 2001.
The need Elon Homes for Children had gradually diminished by the 1960’s as there were less orphans to house. The Elon Homes campus eventually closed in 2005 after shifting mission from an orphanage to day care center and then at risk youth housing. The site is now part of Elon University’s South Campus.