Young black boys who were orphaned in Savannah that had no place to go were sent to “Brown Farm”, a penal farm for convicts; the girls were sent to the Chatham County Protective home. The kids were not being punished, but it was the only safe place for them. Adaline Graham, a well-known Savannah woman, died and left property and funds to whomever might start a movement to establish an orphanage for Negro children.
In 1943, as a community service project, five young black women of the Gamma Sigma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha decided to utilize the funds and established a children center for black Children. In 1944, the group purchased a tract of land on W. 50th Street on which they could build the institution. On June 8, 1944, using an additional $4,500 donated by the Graham estate, Greenbriar Children’s Center was founded.
Greenbriar Children’s Center opened on July 15, 1949; with a cottage-style building that accommodated 20 children and a private apartment for a resident housemother.
In May of 1954, the 15-acre tract on which Greenbriar now stands at 3709 Hopkins St. was purchased for $17,000.
The center began accepting children of all races in 1964.