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The Good Samaritan Boys Ranch opened a brand new home for boys on Tuesday morning, marking the first phase in their development of a new campus. Justin Lux has the report.
The boy’s ranch oversees the Footsteps Transitional Living program. Many of the boys here are aging out of the foster care system.
For 20-year old Josh Snyder, the transitional living program has been an absolute blessing.
“Basically, I’m truly grateful and appreciative to all the staff, everybody that supports the Boys Ranch and everything. I just truly appreciate it,” says Snyder.
Snyder lived in one of the program’s group homes for just short of a year before moving into an apartment provided by the Good Samaritan Boys Ranch.
For him, the group helped with everything from getting his driver’s permit to landing a job and other invaluable life skills in between.
“Oh I think it’s great. Cause ya’ know, a lot of the kids out there don’t have the opportunities or the people that will put in the time and the effort to help them get to where they need to be in life or to at least get their foot in the door,” Snyder says.
With the opening of the new transitional living facility, the program will be able to provide housing to boys that range in ages from 16 to 21, a commonly ignored demographic in the foster care system.
“You know these kids do fall through the cracks. For us, we provide a service that parents aren’t able to provide for whatever reason. To come in and fill that niche, it’s vital.”
Casey Wray is the program director at the Good Samaritan Ranch and says studies have shown that if these boys do not receive the help that they need, they either end up homeless or in jail.
Wray says the goal of the program is to provide the young men with the skills to eventually live independently.
The new facility is 10,000 square feet and each resident has his own private room. It’s located on Norton Road in north Springfield.
For KSMU News, I’m Justin Lux.