The Children's Home Network Story
Children’s Home Network story begins only 22 years after the end of the Civil War, in a small frontier village in Florida. When Miss Carrie Hammerly came from Leesburg, Virginia to visit relatives in 1887, she decided to stay and join the approximately 800 residents that lived in Tampa at the time. History tells us that Miss Hammerly began tending to orphaned and abandoned children in 1892. By expanding her home to meet the increasing community need she purchased a large house on Marion Street, thus beginning the legacy of Children’s Home Network. Little did Miss Hammerly know that she would spark an organization that now serves nearly 25,000 children and adults each year.
The challenge of running the home led her to create a much more formal structure whereby she deeded the home to trustees and enlisted the help of some very influential Tampa ladies. These women formed the governing board of directors, which would become the standard for non-profit organizations throughout the country.
In 1920, a fire destroyed the home, opening the door to the next chapter of Children’s Home Network’s story. A new home was built by renowned architect, M. Leo Elliott, that was truly groundbreaking at the time. Still standing today at 3302 North Florida Avenue and on the National Registry of Historic Places. Children’s Home Network remained at that location until 1965, when ground was broken on a new 88 acre property provided by the City of Tampa, off of Old Memorial Highway, where we continue to provide residential services with our Kids Village Campus and Adolescents in Motherhood programs. In addition, we provide services at six other locations throughout central Florida.