Ben Richey Boys Ranch & Family Program

Ben Richey Boys Ranch & Family Program has been a vital part of the Abilene community for 75 years. Ben Richey and his wife Jamie recognized early on how important positive role models were on young men and saw a need for a place where they could benefit from a stable living environment that taught the importance of integrity, honesty, and hard work. Mr. Richey approached the Abilene City Council regarding this growing need, and they generously provided land on the south end of town. In 1947 the first group of boys came to live on the ranch. Providing safe, loving, stable homes for children in need has always been a priority. When the need for assistance to single mothers and their children became a growing concern, the Family Program was added. Building brighter futures and making positive impacts is not only happening for the boys on campus but also for the families.

Ben Richey-group
Ben Richey-Albany

Boys Program

Both the Abilene and Albany campus are licensed as a private, non-profit basic childcare General Residential Operation. Boys Ranch provides clean, comfortable, and safe homes for each boy at the Ranch. Through experienced guidance of house parents and staff, each boy will develop confidence while learning to take responsibility for his actions. Our goal is to provide each boy with the tools to become a productive, successful member of society once they have completed the program.

Ben Richey-fishing

The Abilene campus is located on 80 acres with one boys’ home, one relief cottage, gym, pool, livestock pens, administrative center and more. Boys attend public schools and participate in sports, church, extracurricular, and community activities. Equine therapy is also offered on the Abilene campus. The boys actively participate at every level of care for the horses. They groom, feed, clean stalls and work in the horse barn. Boys are assigned horses based on the temperament of both the horse and the boy. Horseback riding comes only after basic care of the facility and the horses. Aside from learning the responsibility of caring for a horse there are many benefits for those involved, such as strength and conditioning, mental acuity, stress relief, self-discipline, patience, and self-confidence.

In early 2000, the Albany campus was added. It is located on 86 acres south of Albany on the Baird Highway. The campus includes the two houses for boys, a relief home, administrative offices, livestock barn, shop, and open-air pavilion. Boys on the Albany campus are active in FFA, 4-H, band, athletics (both UIL and summer league), church activities, as well as helping numerous civic organizations with projects.

Ben Richey-moms
Ben Richey-moms
Ben Richey-moms in class

Family Program

The Family Program was added to the Abilene campus in 2009 to address the ever-growing need in the community to provide support and assistance to single mothers and their families. The goal of this program is to restore single mothers and their children with hope, comfort, and shelter while they locate resources they need to move toward successful independent living.

When the mothers first begin the program, they live in shared homes with private bedrooms and bathrooms that are assigned to their families. They diligently work towards learning appropriate money management skills, parenting skills, job skills, and other areas of their lives in which their individual families need help. The goal of the Family Program is that when the mother leaves our program, she is able to support herself and her family without help from someone else. Mothers also have the opportunity to work towards meeting the qualifications for moving into one of our ten independent living homes, which are located on the Abilene campus of Ben Richey Boys Ranch & Family Program. These homes are two-bedroom, one-bathroom individual homes and are for families who have successfully completed the group-living portion of our program and met the criteria for independent living.

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