St. Martin Center, Inc., established in 1952 and incorporated in 1969, is a social service organization that assists families and individuals with immediate needs and long-term services. We are an agency that has gained a reputation of treating those in crisis with dignity and respect, enabling them to successfully become independent. We accomplish our mission through programs ranging from food and clothing provisions to budget counseling, homeownership and much more.
St. Martin Center is named for Saint Martin de Porres who was born in Lima, Peru. He worked tirelessly on behalf of the poor - feeding them and providing for them. He established orphanages for children and worked hard no matter how menial the task. SMC tries to emulate Saint Martin's efforts by providing immediate assistance to those who are in need and then guiding them to a better life through long-term services.
History of the Building
One step into St. Martin Center, on the corner of 17th and Parade Streets, and you'll realize this building certainly has history to it. Original wooden staircases and other features remind us daily that our building has been here for a long time and has had many prior owners.
The building was constructed in 1905. It was owned and occupied by Wayne Brewing Company as its general offices from at least 1907 until it closed in 1951. Prior to 1907 Wayne Brewing Company was known as Consumers and may have occupied this building.
After the closing of Wayne Brewing Company, the building was owned and used by Lyons Transportation Lines, Inc., an interstate motor carrier, as its general offices, computer center and communications center.
After Lyons relocated its general offices onto property adjacent to its 26th & French Street terminal, the building was used by the then Cochran-owned Eckerds, as an adjunct to the Eckerd general offices until 1974.
In 1975, John Cochran donated the building to St. Martin Center, Inc. It currently houses all of our social service, housing education and other programs while St. Martin Early Learning Center resides in Lovell Place.