The Ranch

The Ranch

In addition to the Williams and Winter Houses, O’Connell Children’s 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.

gravel road with a large wooden sign over it reading O'Connell Youth Ranch


outside of 2 story house


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.



Social Skills

Accept responsibility for behavior, anger management, and following directions. Also respecting authority and peer relationships.

Academic Skills

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.

Communication Skills

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.

Other Activities

Youth are allowed the opportunity for extra curricular activities with transportation provided when needed in school and in the community.

three young men walking a dog with their backs to the camera

young boys sitting at a table using a laptop


Community Treatment Services therapists come to OYR to provide individual, family and group therapy sessions as needed (Bird House Project, anger management, social skills).

Youth 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:

Baseball Field

We have an on-site baseball field for playing games and catch.

Basketball Court

We have an on-site basketball court for playing pickup games.

Football Field

We have an on-site football field where residents play.

Fire Pit

We have a shelter area with a fire pit for cookouts.

Walking/Riding Trails

We have an on-site mile plus long trail system for walking and bike rides.

Other Activites

Other on-site activities include frisbee golf, gardening, fishing, and horseback riding.

three young men standing on a white boat wearing lifejackets in the middle of a blue lake with green trees in the background

young man sitting at a table with paint and paint brushes doing artwork