In addition to the Williams and Winter Houses, O’Connell Youth Shelter provides youth services at The Ranch on 120 acres of beautiful farmland.
The Ranch is designed to give youth security and stability by providing a structured and loving home life in a clean, healthy rural setting. Our youth are guided toward a fulfilling and purposeful future by participation in educational, social and sports programs of local schools, churches and other community programs.
The Ranch provides several recreational options for youth onsite. This includes sports fields and helping with the community garden where they learn to grow and harvest their own food. Youth also have the opportunity to care for many farm animals including horses, pigs, dogs, cats, and several goats and chickens. In addition, there are limited spots available for older youth to find onsite employment as a Ranch Hand Assistant.
HOW WE HELP
We provide a nurturing setting with staff that live in most of our homes. There are 3 homes with each home housing 8 young men ages 6-18.
In the home, skills are constantly reinforced by example. In a real way, this unique home setting seeks to help young men learn to help themselves and learn to prepare for the challenging and competitive world awaiting them.
WHAT WE TEACH
Accept responsibility for behavior, anger management, and following directions. Also respecting authority and peer relationships.
Planning ahead, study skills, and college search and preparation (SAT and ACT prep, FAFSA/Grants/Scholarships applications work).
Independent Living Skills
Money management and Savings accounts, employment opportunities, drivers ed, apartment hunting, and community involvement.
Eye contact, body posture and voice tone.
Daily Living Skills
Housekeeping, laundry and cooking.
Our young men attend Prairie Park Elementary, Billy Mills Middle School and Lawrence High School.
Young men are allowed the opportunity for extra curricular activities with transportation provided when needed in school and in the community.
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
Community Treatment Services therapists come to OYR to provide individual, family and group therapy sessions as needed (Bird House Project, anger management, social skills).
Young men receive drug and alcohol services through Integrated Treatment Services in Lawrence.
Each home is supported by a case coordinator and each young man has an Individualized Program Plan to encourage them through their journey to completion of their stay.
Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center – For mental health needs (medication evaluations and other mental health needs).
While at the Ranch, youth have the opportunity to take part in many recreational opportunities which include:
We have an on-site baseball field for playing games and catch.
We have an on-site basketball court for playing pickup games.
We have an on-site football field where residents play.
We have a shelter area with a fire pit for cookouts.
We have an on-site mile plus long trail system for walking and bike rides.
Other on-site activities include frisbee golf, gardening, fishing, and horseback riding.