About Us


We foster restorative relationships and deliver innovative care, treatment, and education so that vulnerable youth and families believe in their worth, heal and build the skills for success.


All children, families and communities achieve success through continuous learning and relationships that promote personal, professional and family well-being.

Our History

Our Foundation

In 1883, five Sisters of the Good Shepherd arrived in downtown Detroit to the Ward Mansion on Fort Street to establish their first home. The industrial revolution left thousands of young girls and women behind, most of them living and working in desperate conditions.  By the turn of the century, 33 Sisters were caring for more than 200 girls and young women.

Over the next 30 years, the House of the Good Shepherd continued to expand services, but quickly outgrew their facilities. The Ford family was aware of the work the Sisters were doing and presented a solution to their space issues. They deeded the Sisters 50 acres of land on West Warren Avenue in Dearborn Heights for $1 and immediately began taking steps to build residence halls, a school, a powerhouse, and an auditorium/ gymnasium.

On December 8, 1942, the House of the Good Shepherd officially reopened with the new name, Vista Maria.

The compassion, kindness and strength that those pioneer nuns showed 136 years ago serve as the foundation for what has grown into Vista Maria.

What's Next?

Over the years, Vista Maria has evolved to serve a variety of needs for vulnerable youth.  We have added new programs and provide abused and neglected youth with emotional, education, psychological and spiritual guidance to facilitate their transition to adulthood as productive, contributing members of society.

Today, Vista Maria is recognized as providing best-in-class residential and community-based treatment and therapy for children, young women and their families. Vista Maria looks to its future as a healing resource center, which will ensure that children and families within our communities have access to critical services and care.

Philosophy of Care

Vista Maria’s philosophy of care provides a framework of guiding principles that reflects our mission, values and competencies. The philosophy defines and directs our employees to provide services and care in the best interest of the children and families that we serve.

Our Philosophy of Care is defined in an easy to remember format that guides, unites and aligns our behaviors and actions to fulfill our mission, values and competencies.

  • VALUES MATTER – our values unite us in action to deliver quality care, support and treatment for our youth, families and each other.
  • FAMILIES UNITED – we unconditionally accept and believe in the power of families and communities.
  • EDUCATION IS POWER – education creates opportunities, builds partnerships and empowers everyone.
  • COMPASSION FOR ONE ANOTHER – true healing comes from the collective actions and efforts of each of us caring for one another and those that we serve.