It’s the little things that can mean so much to a teenager whose only idea of “normal” is homelessness. Things like having a safe place to stay, regular meals, access to showers and clean clothes to change into- or going to your high school dance with someone you really like.
Betrayed by her family, Amanda once believed she had only herself to rely on. But she left Hays Shelter home knowing that her IYR “family” will always be here to support her into adulthood.
Shawna Learns What Safety Feels Like
When Shawna and her family lived in the projects of inner city Detroit, just getting from home to school and back each day was a dangerous journey. At 16, Shawna was struggling with depression and explosive anger. One too many fights with teachers finally got her expelled, and that’s when she confided to her mother that she was being sexually abused by a neighbor. Even worse- the abuse had been going on since Shawna turned 13, and the abuser had terrified her into silence by threatening to hurt her family if she "told on him."
It’s Never too Late to Say Thank You
Last month we received this heartfelt letter from a young man who stayed at Hays Shelter Home with his sister more than a year ago. They had been living on the street. When they first came to Hays, they didn't know what to make of being in IYR's care and were wary of us, but sometimes It's the most challenging kids who make the biggest transformation.Thanks to your generous support, they found their way out of homelessness and into a future with direction and possibility.
Braving the Waters
Neglected, abondoned or abused kids often don't get to have the kind of childhood experiences that most of us take for granted. Like playing catch, learning how to ride a bike, or learning how to swim.
July 2014: In addition to receiving counseling, kids in our residential programs spend time every week getting involved in their community through volunteer projects. The Idaho Youth Ranch service-learning program has included many community organizations and nonprofits. To date, IYR kids have served more than 100 meals at the Boise Rescue Mission, packed 1500 lbs. of donations at the Idaho Foodbank, delivered 32 meals for Meals on Wheels, and cared for service animals with Mini-Joys, a local non-profit that provides miniature horses for therapeutic healing.