Bienvenidos was founded in 1986 to serve the growing number of infants and toddlers who had experienced trauma in Los Angeles County. Over several decades, the agency expanded its programs and services, providing mental health, community-based programs, and foster care and adoptions. Today, Bienvenidos is now an affiliate of Hillsides and together serve more than 17,000 children, youth, and families in Southern California.
Hillsides was founded 104 years ago by a compassionate young Deaconess of the Episcopal Church, Evelyn Wile. In 1913, she opened a home in Highland Park for 13 neglected and abandoned children. Wile rejected the typical institutional model of care and instead envisioned a campus of cottages where children could enjoy a country-like environment with plenty of sunshine, fresh air, and open space. Her dream came true in 1918 when she moved the children to two cottages on 17 acres in the San Rafael hills of Pasadena, the site of Hillsides residential treatment services to this day. There, Wile built more residential cottages and oversaw the construction of an administration building.
For the next 40 years, Hillsides remained a safe haven where children came first. In the 1960s, Hillsides shifted from long-term custodial care to become a therapeutic residential center providing specialized care to vulnerable youth. In the following decades, Hillsides grew to 12 on-campus buildings and three off-campus satellite homes. In 1982 it opened the on-campus school, Hillsides Education Center. The same year, Hillsides created a program of community-based services, Family Resource Centers. In 2005, Hillsides launched Youth Moving On, a highly regarded transitional living program for young adults leaving the foster care system and probation. In July 2016, Hillsides announced its parent-subsidiary relationship with Bienvenidos.