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Father Steven E. Boes, who he what is now called Girls and Boys Town, said the organization sheltered or directly cared for 43, youngsters across the country in regardless of religion, and still is guided by a premise famously offered years ago by Flanagan, the Roman Catholic priest who founded it.
Most of the youths are referred to Girls and Boys Town by social service agencies and courts, with such problems as abandonment and gang involvement.
Today that campus is the home of a national research hospital and is the hub of a network of 19 sites in 15 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, nearly 1 million additional children were served through nonresidential outreach and training programs inofficials said. There also are four group homes in Trabuco Canyon and a Long Beach emergency shelter and assessment center, among other programs.Sold For Sex: Trafficking in Nebraska
It is supported by direct-mail campaigns and other fundraising, and government-financed placements of youths by local and state agencies such as the Orange County Department of Children and Family Services. It has no formal connection to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha other than the tradition that Boes and his predecessors have all been Omaha diocesan priests.
Boes, ordained inly taught religion in Catholic schools and worked with Native American children at St. Augustine Indian Mission in Winnebago, Neb. He grew up in Elgin, Neb. In those days, Boes said, many youths who came to Flanagan had a low self-image. Many contemplated suicide. The picture changed after the s.
He said new arrivals generally thought better of themselves, although thoughts of suicide remained a problem with some. It found that increasing s of American children and youths suffer from depression, anxiety, attention deficits and conduct disorders, thoughts of suicide and other serious mental and behavioral problems. Those who live in group homes learn they are expected to help out, as if they were members of a family.
They share chores and learn to relate in the everyday give and take of living with others.
In addition to counseling, the programs emphasize building relationships with others -- including trained adult role models -- and attending to spiritual needs. Boes said youths are required to attend a weekly religious service. Christians go to churches of their choice. Jews observe Shabbat and go to synagogue, for example. How he prays is up to him.
Boes thinks back to the boy inthe late Ruben Granger, who later changed his name to Jim Edwards, who carried the crippled boy, Howard Loomis, on his back to go swimming in the Missouri River. It may be more hidden, but I still think there are brothers who would pick up their little brother.
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