St. Vincent’s School for Boys

St. Vincent’s School for Boys, a program of Catholic Charities CYO, is a multi-service agency serving children and families.  There are three programs of St. Vincent’s: the residential treatment center for boys in San Rafael; the foster family agency with families in several counties and two group homes in San Francisco serving adolescent girls and boys on probation.


History of St. Vincent’s

In 1853, a wealthy Irish landowner who had governed the larger part of Marin County for the Mexican government, Don Timoteo Murphy, deeded 800 acres of beautiful countryside to the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Two years later, two Sisters of Charity, having come from Maryland at the behest of Archbishop Alemany, two lay women, and four orphaned girls journeyed by boat across San Pablo Bay to found the “institute of learning” that Don Timoteo had stipulated in his will. The home for girls did not last very long, but over the next years, the ranks of boys who came for care and shelter grew to 554 by 1884.

Although the old institute of learning is no longer an orphanage, its original character as envisioned by Timoteo Murphy is preserved in the name St. Vincent’s School for Boys. Today, St. Vincent’s Services, which consists of St. Vincent’s School for Boys, San Francisco Boys’ and Girls’ Home, and St.Vincent’s Foster Family Agency, is the largest provider of youth residential treatment services in Northern California.