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Our History

Since our inception in 1954, Wayside has empowered more than 30,000 women and 6,000 children. It’s all thanks to one woman’s dream and the tenacity of thousands of staff, community members and clients.

In the 1950s Wayside’s founder Sarah Mary “Sally” DeVay sold cosmetics door-to-door. In her work, she met countless women who were sexually abused, unemployed and dependent on substances. Sally knew there were systems of oppression that gave these women nowhere else to turn—and she knew they deserved more. That is when the dream of Wayside became a reality.



Wayside Recovery Center was established as ‘Wayside House’ on Washington Avenue in downtown Minneapolis—known as “skid row” at the time. That first year, Wayside served 7 women.


Wayside House introduced alcohol treatment, becoming one of the first treatment centers in the state with services specifically designed for women. 


Wayside introduced substance treatment to their programming, and purchased property for halfway house care.


The Wayside Alumnae Association formed and began hosting banquets annually. 


Wayside opened its Supportive Housing program, which has provided a safe place for women in recovery and their children to heal for 25 years.


Wayside became the first in Minnesota to open a Family Treatment Center. Currently, we are 1 of 6 in the state, and 18 in the nation, that invite mom to enter treatment with her child


Outpatient Services were added expanding our continuum of care to include assessment, substance use disorder and mental health services.


Wayside opened the Wellness Outpatient Center in St. Paul, expanded services to include wraparound recovery support services and established an Education & Prevention Department and Project ECHO Hub to provide research, training and knowledge to the greater community. 


We launched tele-psychiatry at all clinical locations, offering women psychiatric care in their first week of admission and reducing acute psychiatric care cases by 90%.


Wayside House’ becomes ‘Wayside Recovery Center’ to better reflect our comprehensive array of behavioral health services. 


Wayside became a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) and expanded our services to include primary healthcare, psychiatric services, same day access and 24-hour crisis services. Our services are now more accessible and affordable than ever before.