A nonprofit orphanage inIllinoishas unfortunately been forced to shut its doors this year after providing leading care to abandoned and abused children since the early 1870’s. Established originally to protect and nurture girls who had been orphaned due to the civil war, the Park Ridge orphanage, like many businesses and foundations around America, have fallen victim to the failing economy, as well as a decline in private investors.
Led by childcare pioneer Jane Addams, the foundation began on a unique principle. Instead of housing children in barracks style dormitories,Park Ridgeorganized children in to cottages of no more than four to a residence, allowing the workers to give special, individualized attention to each of the neglected kids.
Since 1980,Park Ridgehas primarily devoted its efforts to children who have been taken from neglectful and abusive homes, as these are the most at risk children inAmericatoday. Following almost a year of promises of new innovations in the orphan community,Park Ridge’s announcement that it would be closing its doors came as an abrupt surprise to the community at large.
Park Ridgewanted to assure the community that this was purely a financial decision, not one based on performance or any issue of conduct. It’s a sad fact, but in today’s economy, it is charitable foundations likePark Ridgethat will be most impacted. While it isn’t any of their faults, the orphans protected byIllinois’Park Ridgesuffer for today’s economy worse than anyone.