The history of The Up Center can be traced back to 1883 when economic hardships led to the creation of Norfolk United Charities to help alleviate homelessness and poverty.
In our early years, we operated an orphanage for abandoned children, distributed coal to families to heat their homes, and gave shoes to children so they could walk to school. Our services have evolved over the years to meet the changing needs of the community. We no longer operate an orphanage, but we offer foster care and adoption services…and many other programs.
Over the decades, our leadership has brought various organizations together, and we’ve changed names several times through mergers and evolving services. In 2004, a landmark merger brought Family Services of Tidewater, headquartered in Norfolk, and Child & Family Services, headquartered in Portsmouth, together to form Child & Family Services of Eastern Virginia. Four years later, we changed our name to The Up Center, a new identity that aims to increase awareness of our relentless desire to unleash the potential of people in our community.