Priests from the Servants of Charity Congregation manage the operations of St. Louis Center.
St. Louis Center is a caring, residential, family living and learning environment providing for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
In 1958, Cardinal John Francis Dearden of the Archdiocese of Detroit entrusted to the Servants of Charity Congregation from Italy the administration and oversight of a new school in Chelsea, Michigan for 60 boys with I/DD. St. Louis School was dedicated in 1961 and began its educational program with four priests, four Holy Family sisters, and five special education teachers.
Michigan’s Mandatory Special Education Act of 1971 became law in 1973 and the residents slowly began attending the Chelsea Public Schools. St. Louis School became St. Louis Center and entered a new phase of providing residential care and life skills training for its residents. Knights of Columbus Hall and the chapel were built in 1970. St. Joseph Hall was opened in 1984 to provide young men more opportunities to develop their independent living skills. Major renovations of the main building took place in 1987.
Father Guanella Hall was added in 1988 for young adolescents then repurposed as an adult residence. In 2002, one wing of Fr. Guanella Hall was converted into a women’s program called “Our Lady of Providence.”
St. Louis Center has evolved over the past 55 years (and counting) to meet the ever-changing needs of the individuals it serves. The Legacy Project is ensuring that the Center will be here for many years to come. St. Louis Center’s future looks to be as beautiful as its past.