From the CEO: Who owns The Glen?

One question we are asked often is, “Who owns The Glen?”

When team members are out marketing at an expo, when on a tour, or when attending a conference, this question is always posed.

So, who does own The Glen? Do you know?

Looking through our 100-year history book, written by Dr. Ann Mathison McLaurin and published in 1998, you can learn about the overwhelming support that has always come the Shreveport community.

The Glen CEO Debra Williams

Around 1890, a Shreveport merchant, Mary Files, had a servant’s heart and provided care for an older English woman on the banks of the Red River. It was not long before other women asked to move in to the house.

Upon the death of Miss Files in 1895, her sisters continued her legacy and began building upon what she had created by introducing it to the Shreveport community.

The Home Charitable Organization is officially credited with establishing The Home for the Homeless (now The Glen). This group was founded in 1892 with a membership of 125 women; the general purpose of this nondenominational organization was “to care for indigents.”

In 1897, the group recommended that the Home for the Homeless should be established. After a public meeting to gauge the response, it was decided the community was in agreement that the Home was necessary to serve the population who are “utterly devoid of even the bare necessities of life.”

The first Home for the Homeless was a small cottage housing two residents on Hope Street. After the legal charter in November of 1898 established a nonprofit organization, board members were elected and began fundraising for the home.

Beyond the board, history continues to show the extreme support by the external community. During the holiday season, the public provided turkeys, hams, desserts and gifts to the residents.

In addition to in-kind gifts, several community philanthropists donated funds to support the Home for the Homeless. In 1916, two gifts from Henry Youree and J.B. Ardis, and with proceeds from a savings account, made it possible to expand building a men’s home next to the current women’s home on Jordan Street. Additional contributions came from the Caddo Police Jury and the City of Shreveport. Ongoing donations and gifts were vital for the Home to continue its operations.

Over the years, the name of the home evolved to reflect the services being offered. However, one thing that has not changed is the support of the Shreveport community. History shows the Shreveport community has always rallied for The Glen.

So, who does own The Glen? My answer is the true “owner” of the Glen is the Shreveport community. It is the continued support, generosity and drive of the community that has and will always make The Glen a great success.

This letter first appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of The Glen Views.

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