HumanKind, formerly Presbyterian Homes & Family Services, has strengthened families and communities in many different capacities since 1903, changing our services to meet the needs of the communities we serve. Started as an orphanage by Presbyterians in Eastern Virginia, thousands of children grew up on our campus in Lynchburg due to difficult circumstances of their families. In the 1960’s, we dedicated resources to address the growing demand of young adults with intellectual disabilities. A training center was built in Zuni, Virginia to teach life and employment skills. Over time, Zuni adapted to changing needs and created long term supportive residences where today more than 40 adults live in community.

Through collaboration with communities and churches, more homes for adults with intellectual disabilities were developed in Fredericksburg, Waynesboro, Lynchburg, South Hill and Lexington. In our first 100 years, we fulfilled our mission by providing safe, healthy and loving homes first for children, then for adults with intellectual disabilities.

We have amazing stories of transformation for the children who grew up in our care. For our adults, we provide full and healthy lives with many recreational, spiritual and cultural opportunities.

We developed a range of high quality community based services for children and families responding to significant political pressure in Virginia to dramatically reduce the number of children in residential care. We also joined our efforts with those of another 100-year-old agency serving Central Virginia, The Family Alliance. We created a continuum of services ranging from prevention, education and healthy lifestyles for children to long-term residential care for adults.

For more than a decade there has been a shift away from residential homes for children to prevention, foster families, adoption and community-based services. We have been resilient and built momentum, awareness and success in this approach. Our mission to strengthen individuals, families and communities through care, counseling and education has been consistent, providing guidance and assistance to those looking to live better and healthier lives.

With a strong commitment to increasing our impact, our staff and board adopted (in 2012) and introduced (in 2014) a brand that reflects our dynamic and inclusive culture. Respectful of our founders and appreciative of all who prepared the way, today, we are HumanKind. The name reflects our mission to serve people, to meet them where they are and be active in caring for their unique needs.

With care, counseling and education, we are building on 100 years of faithful service to strengthen children, families and communities across our region. In our second century of service, our team of kind, helpful, smart, fun and insightful staff and volunteers is energized. We continually give thanks for the continued support of individual, church, corporate and foundation donors which sustain us.

Legends of the Land | Stories of our history and legacy

History is handed down for others to learn. Sharing stories of where we came from, how we got here, and where we are going are vital to our culture. HumanKind perseveres to build relationships, honor the past to carry into the future and revitalize communities. We seek a world where people lift each other up and provide hope through the journey of life. Together we are HumanKind: past, present, and future.

More than 10,000 children called our historic campus home over the years. We are honored to help preserve their stories and share them with all of you.

Watch More Legends of the Land Stories

Presbyterian Homes Alumni

Presbyterian Orphans Homes (known today as HumanKind) began serving children in 1903. Thousands of children called these grounds home during their life time. To learn more about the Alumni network, connect with other alum, and our annual Homecoming weekend, please connect with us today.

To learn more about HumanKind’s history, please visit the resources and links below:

Shoeless Wonders

A group of determined orphan boys work together to overcome obstacles, defy expectations, and become the SHOELESS WONDERS, a legendary 1920’s Virginia barefoot football team that went undefeated and unscored upon for eight years. Universal showcased the team in a black and white newsreel that played before films nationwide.

For more information, please contact:
Angie Miller | Vice President, Development