Our History

Committed to building stronger communities in Southern Illinois for over 129 years.
For over 129 years, our mission has been to enable all people, young and old alike, to realize the wholeness of life that God intends.



Hoyleton History

For over 129 years, Hoyleton has created a better world for the children and families we serve. Hoyleton was founded as an orphanage in 1895 and we can trace our beginnings back to the former Evangelical and Reformed Church (now known as the United Church of Christ). Our long and successful history is not a laurel for us to rest upon, we see it as a challenge to continue to look for innovative ways to evolve with our client’s changing needs. We believe that this forward-thinking attitude will allow us to touch more lives in more ways than ever before.

Hoyleton Orphan’s Home Established

A former seminary property was deeded to Zion Evangelical Church in Hoyleton, Illinois. The church and a newly-established Orphan’s Home Association launched the Hoyleton Orphan’s Home.

Building gets two new wings

The Indiana District joined the Orphans’ Home district making to make necessary additions of two wings across both ends of the building. On September 27, 1903, the renovated Home was rededicated.

Fire Destroys Orphanage

A chimney fire completely destroyed the orphanage in 1915, prompting the construction of a “fireproof” brick building in 1916.

Time for School

Children who live at the orphanage begin attending school there as well. Most of the children sing in the Orphan’s Choir, an ensemble that performs for weddings, funerals and civic events.

Encouraged Career Paths

Boys were encouraged to be pastors while girls prepared to be handmaids to the privileged.

50 years

Hoyleton Children’s Home celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 1945.

No Longer Called Orphanage

The word “orphanage” was dropped from the facility’s official name.

Programs Geared Toward Residential

Services at the Children’s Home became known as the Residential Program at Hoyleton as more and more children came to us through the court system. Some of these children were from broken homes, some were victims of abuse, and others suffered from mental or emotional disorders.

Focus Changes to Reuniting Children to their Families

The Home’s focus changed from providing a permanent residence for orphans to reuniting children and their broken families. Programs emphasize life skills and vocational training. During this time, the first residential cottage was dedicated in an effort to provide a more home-like atmosphere for children. Hoyleton also established community counseling and assistance programs at several Metro East locations.

Expanding into Foster Care

Community Programs in the East St. Louis area were expanded to include foster care and crisis intervention. During this decade, Hoyleton Youth and Family Services became a stand-alone organization but remained affiliated with the United Church of Christ.

Celebrating 100 Years

This decade brought a major milestone for Hoyleton Youth and Family Services: we celebrated our 100th Anniversary in 1995!

New Residential Locations

Hoyleton’s Residential Programs evolve in innovative new ways. They now include not only the Children’s Home, but also Hope House, the Independent Living Program, and the Transitional Living Program.

Finding Forever Homes

Hoyleton’s Child Welfare Program places a stronger focus on finding “forever homes” for adoptive children.

Preventative Services Added

Innovative Preventative Services Programs are offered to the community. They include Teen Pregnancy Prevention, Substance Abuse Prevention, Seeds of Success, and Rescue & Restore.

Puentes de Esperanza Forms

Puentes de Esperanza was created in 2004 through the merger of a program created by Hoyleton and a UCC-related grassroots effort.

Medicaid Lifts a 20 Year Moratorium

In 2014, Medicaid lifted a 20 year moratorium on adding new healthcare providers to its approved list as part of the Affordable Healthcare Act. Hoyleton was one of the first to be given a new Medicaid Provider Number and is able to offer mental health services to the community at large.

Forward Counseling Care by Hoyleton is established

Hoyleton qualifies as a mental health center

Crisis Care services offered

Mobile crisis services now offered 24/7 to residents of St. Clair County, IL

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