Hill Country Youth Ranch, founded in 1977, was built on 265 acres of donated land one mile west of Ingram, in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Volunteers joined to carve out the first roads, drill wells, and construct an educational village for abused children.

After two decades of building at Ingram, the Ranch expanded to include two additional properties – Big Springs Ranch for Children (1996) near Leakey, and Enhanced Horizons (2008) near Ingram – allowing the HCYR family to serve up to 125 youth at a time.

Big Springs Ranch for Children

Today, the village includes ten residences for children of all ages, charter schools (K–12), a chapel, library, fine arts complex, general store, sports fields, gymnasium, community center, woodshop, swimming pool, and garden.

Big Springs Ranch for Children, was given to HCYR in 1996 by Oma Bell Perry to build a children’s home. Miss Perry settled here in 1928 at age 15, ranching its rugged canyons with goats and cattle for 75 years.

Oma Bell loved the land and she loved children. Though she never had children of her own, Miss Perry delighted in visiting the girls and boys who came to live at their new home on the Frio during its formative years. Until her death in 2003, Miss Perry enjoyed being a grandmother to the children.

The Ranch surrounds the headwaters of the Frio River and four miles of its banks. The healing qualities of canyons, with the sounds of the river and wildlife, were well-known to Oma Bell, who believed they would help wounded children, and they have.

BSRC is now a thriving village, with 8 family-style houses for children, grandparent cottages nearby, and K-12 charter schools. Horseback riding and animal care are cornerstones, and there are also athletic fields, a gym, a chapel, a vocational shop, a general store, a community center, and a library.

An extension of the Hill Country Youth Ranch, Enhanced Horizons is a transitional living program that helps homeless teens and young adults (ages 18-24) move toward self-sufficiency and successful adult living (this includes single mothers with children). By providing affordable housing, transportation assistance, and other support services, each young adult is given an opportunity to develop and work on individualized independent living goals in a positive, safe and supportive living environment.

Hill Country Youth Ranch

HCYR offers an individualized approach to the care of traumatized children, providing a continuum of services, including highly structured care for severe cases, residential treatment for stabilizing children, foster care for basic-needs children, transitional living for young adults, and life-long family-based support for all alumni.

As a child lives among us, we watch for things he does well and interests that persist, seeking conditions that spark motivation. Often, a program is created to meet the needs of a single child. We believe that gift enhancement and healing go hand in hand.

Hill Country Youth Ranch

Visit HCYR at https://youth-ranch.org/.