About the Ruth M. Smith Center
Located in the rural community of Sheffield in NW Pennsylvania and nearly 100 years old, the Ruth M Smith Center has changed its ministry over the years as needs emerged in the region. In 1922 the C. H. Smith family gave their home in Sheffield to the Women’s Society of Christian Service (WSCS) of the Methodist Church in memory of their daughter, Ruth Margaret. At that time it served as a children’s orphanage. When the need for an orphanage ended in the late 1960’s, the facility changed focus to provide treatment for troubled youth sent there instead of a reformatory by the courts. Beginning about 1982 a shift in government support led once again to the Smith Center revising its ministry to meet the needs of another vulnerable population. Currently the Ruth M Smith Center is a Personal Care Home for adults with intellectual and/or physical impairments, and the elderly. The Center provides assistance to those who need care beyond the basic necessities of food and shelter, and who do not require intermediate or skilled nursing care. Its ministry extends to Day Care and Preschool for children from the surrounding area. In addition, there is community outreach with a Community Center/Gymnasium.
The Ruth M Smith Center facility is owned by the National Office of the United Methodist Women. The ministry of the Smith Center is determined and run by a Board of Directors from across Western Pennsylvania – local members from other denominations, United Methodist Women, and United Methodists with a heart for ministry. Most of the residents of the Smith Center cannot afford the costs of staying there. Their benevolent care is made possible by donations from individuals, churches, UMW local organizations, state funding and grants. The Ruth M Smith Center is a 501 (c)(3) non profit organization.