WHILE SUPPORTERS GATHERED at the Victoria Country Club on an early day in June, STCH Ministries and Bluebonnet Youth Ranch announced a new partnership in an effort to support single mothers and children. With the new program situated onsite at Bluebonnet Youth Ranch, the joint initiative will be called Homes for Families at Bluebonnet Ranch.
This strategic venture comes at a time when increased regulations and obstacles within the care of children are difficult and often overbearing. With those challenges, the cost of caring for children
continues to rise and is only expected to increase.
After many meetings and discussions, it was unanimously decided by both organizations to partner together and serve single mothers and their children on the Yoakum campus. In the coming days, STCH Ministries will open its doors to those seeking a safe place to live during a time of crisis with available resources to keep families together.
Claud Jacobs, one of the founders of Bluebonnet Youth Ranch, stated, “Just like life changes, so do organizations. It has been the pleasure of my lifetime to be a part of Bluebonnet Youth Ranch over the past 50 plus years. By partnering, Bluebonnet Youth Ranch and STCH Ministries will be able to serve more children with a more efficient use of funds, staff and facilities. This partnership is exciting. It brings together beautiful facilities and an organization with the manpower to provide a service to our community that fulfills the missions of both organizations. The future is bright with the two organizations working together.”
In 1972, Bluebonnet Youth Ranch served its first sibling group of two sisters in Yoakum, Texas, and almost 50 years later, its impact holds strong for more than 600 children. In the recent year, the leadership and board of directors of Bluebonnet Youth Ranch studied the impact of regulations and court decisions that directly impacted their ability to care for children. During this research, they contacted STCH Ministries to explore the existing procedures and methods used to care for children. Eron Green, president and CEO of STCH Ministries, was more than happy to help. Eron understood the challenges they faced as those same challenges were also present at STCH Ministries.
STCH Ministries served its first sibling group in 1952 at the Homes for Children campus in Pettus, Texas, and after almost 70 years, its legacy extends to thousands of children and nine distinct ministries aimed to serve children and families. “We are excited to be partnering with Bluebonnet Youth Ranch and look forward to continuing the legacy they established so many years ago,” Eron Green shared.
Homes for Families is led by Theresa Klacman, Director of Homes for Families, and she currently directs the Marshall Ranch in the Goliad area where an average of 10 moms and 25 children are served.
Robin Cadle, Chairwoman of the Bluebonnet Youth Ranch board of directors, stated, “As the mission statement for the Bluebonnet Youth Ranch clearly states, we are truly ‘committed to providing children with a safe, loving home and hope for a bright future.’ I strongly believe not only can we continue this mission by partnering with South Texas Children’s Home, but we can greatly enhance the situation for both children and their mothers. I am excited for the future as we move forward.”
The Homes for Families ministry consists of four phases to directly deal with common challenges in motherhood and support in parenting. The phases are designed to start at rock-bottom and build the families up to launch back into their community and land on two feet. The four phases are as follows:
PHASE I is the first step for each family when beginning the program, and it is called Restoration. Time is spent studying the Bible and learning the importance of developing a closer and more intimate relationship with God. Phase I is a very important transition as each mother learns to find solutions to childhood behavioral issues, the importance of healthy boundaries with others, inspiration to take initiative in daily tasks, the benefits of keeping a personal schedule and how to deal with conflict.
PHASE II is called Equipping and is geared toward supplying the necessary tools to experience success physically, intellectually and emotionally. This is accomplished through a continued intimacy with Jesus, deeper study of God’s Word, increased confidence by improving skills and the removal of obstacles that cause hindrances. Other goals of Phase II are to learn basic computer skills, how to communicate well with others, proper etiquette in the workplace and pursuit of a high school diploma or GED.
PHASE III is the Launch phase, and it is geared towards acting on learned concepts from Phase I and II. This is a time for individualized training to encourage the women to act on
what they have learned. The mothers seek employment or enrollment in college, work on interdependence, self-accountability, financial management and much more.
PHASE IV is the Landing phase and is geared to assist each family in securing a place to live and reintegrating into their community. Like Phase III, the mothers apply what they recently learned and are now independent with ongoing support from STCH Ministries during the transition. Other goals in Phase IV include finding an apartment or home for independent living, getting involved at a church and balancing family, school and employment at the same time.
Both STCH Ministries and Bluebonnet Youth Ranch share the ultimate goal of helping children and families during challenging times. No one could forecast one day both organizations would partner together, but everything is in God’s timing.
This partnership makes both organizations stronger and increases the capacity to serve more children and families. Claud Jacobs said it simply in his book A History of Caring: “Bluebonnet Youth Ranch had its beginnings based on a simple concept – neighbors helping neighbors.” He goes on to describe how many folks in Yoakum and surrounding areas put resources together to serve the families in need in the late 1960s. Now, more than 50 years later, neighbors are helping neighbors to partner in serving single mothers and their children as STCH Ministries and Bluebonnet Youth Ranch work together.
For more information about the partnership of STCH Ministries, Bluebonnet Youth Ranch and Homes
for Families, please visit www.STCHM.org/bluebonnet-ranch.