Forever Families

Campaign For St. Joe’s Landmark Building Renovation and Campus Improvements

The History

In 1849, the St. Joseph Orphan Society was created as a direct response to the Louisville cholera epidemic that left many children parentless. Two parishes, part of the strong German-Catholic presence growing in Louisville, demanded that these orphaned children needed a place to be taken care of. After two downtown locations, St. Joe’s continued to grow and eventually purchased 26 acres on Frankfort Avenue in 1885, putting down roots in the heart of Crescent Hill.

St. Joe’s excels in finding forever families for Kentucky’s kids.

Since 1885, the St. Joe’s staff has served more than 75,000 children in need from the iconic Frankfort Avenue landmark building. This stately, majestic ‘dormitory’ was designed to have a large capacity to serve hundreds of orphaned children at one time. The sisters of Notre Dame, and later the Ursuline Sisters, cared for the children until the 1980s. Over the decades, the building has come to symbolize love, hope, and family to the Louisville community. To this day, it remains a beacon of hope for kids and families in need. However, necessary program growth due to the massive increase in demand for services, combined with aging structures that need immediate and extensive overhauls means that the time to renovate is now.

Taylor Family, Adopted May 2015

The Project


Renovation began November 2020.

Focuses on West Wing of the Landmark Building.

Areas include: Renovated Child Development Center classrooms, New West Wing Entrance for the Child Development Center, New Therapeutic Foster Care and Adoption offices, and 21st Century therapy rooms.

West Wing completion date was November 2021.


Approx. $7M

Focuses on the East and Center wings of Landmark Building including New Residential School Classrooms, Art and Science Room, Renovated Cafeteria & Chapel, New Mission Center, New Front Entryway and Additional Meeting Spaces.

Renovations to the Gymnasium include additional K-12 classrooms for St. Joe’s residential children.

East Wing and Central Wing estimated completion date is November 2022.

Welshan Family, Adopted March 2015 and June 2016

The Goal

The original structure, which served thousands of children and families, now faces staggering maintenance issues and escalating annual repair costs. The once stoic, three-story building now houses an outdated, behemoth set of internal mechanics, and a 19th century floor plan that no longer supports our 21st century programs.

Our goal at St. Joe’s is to provide our children with the necessary tools to be successful in life.

Our master plan calls for a $17 million renovation of our facilities. This includes renovating our 90,000 square foot main landmark building that serves all three of our programs, building new school classrooms for our children in our residential program and future plans to renovate our gym.

See and hear from leaders in our community about what it means to pledge your commitment to the Building Forever Families campaign.

Video is brought to you by Brelin Tilford of Media Pros Productions.

The Outcome

Double the number of children served each year from approximately 350 to 700.


Enable St. Joe’s to serve children and families in Kentucky for the next 100 years by bringing the 19th-century landmark building up-to-date with our 21st-century programming.

Enable St. Joe’s to utilize its facilities to better serve the community for all kids from infancy through 21-years-old.

Goetzinger Family

The Action

Join the Building Forever Families campaign today and help St. Joseph Children’s Home continue to give safety and love to children and families across Kentucky.

Give Now

Every gift made is another step closer to realizing the dreams of Building Forever Families for Kentucky’s most vulnerable children. Ways to give:

  • Make a gift online via the donation link below.
  • Check made payable to St. Joseph Children’s Home Building Forever Families Campaign
  • Make a gift by phone by calling (502) 893-0241 ext. 250, M-F, 8:30 am-5:30 pm.

Make a Pledge


Help St. Joe’s meet our fundraising goal of $17 million by making a pledge today! Get involved by contacting St. Joe’s at or calling (502) 893-0241 ext. 250.

Share the Video

Help us spread the word by sharing the Building Forever Families video with your loved ones and others who believe in St. Joe’s mission of Giving Children A Home.

Video is brought to you by Brelin Tilford of Media Pros Productions.

Contact Us


Interested in learning more about the Building Forever Families campaign? Schedule a virtual meeting with the St. Joe’s Advancement team today! Email or call (502) 893-0241 ext. 250 to get started.

St. Joe’s is Proud To Partner With Stengel-Hill and Kelley Construction For The Building Forever Families Campaign.


St. Joseph Children’s Home
2823 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206
(502) 893-0241
(877) 893-0241