Understanding that the Fort Smith Boys Shelter celebrated its 40th year in 2018 says a lot. It is easy to consider that 1000’s of foster children have come through our door during those 40 years. While immensely proud of the 40 year accomplishment, the staff and board members have spent the last 4 years making our facility more of a HOME than a SHELTER.
We understand very well that the Boys Home is not “their” home and will never be, but hopefully, we can bridge the gap between their removal and reunification if at all possible. Renaming the Boys Shelter to the Boys Home is something that we are very proud of and we consider it a huge success to have done so.
A few of the boys in our care have said, “ this is not a home, there are too many rules!” The reply, “ Young man there are rules everywhere, and those rules also apply to a home, without rules chaos would take over.”
Let’s look back at the last 4 years and talk about some of the successes. We have added new flooring, paint, bathroom remodels, countertops, refrigerator, disposal, dishwasher, freezer, furniture, beds, dressers, transport van, fence, mediation area, burn pit, landscaping, computers, TV’s, aquarium, lawnmower, pavilion lighted ceiling, sponsors, friends and supporters. While those are simply material things, they mean little and can always be replaced. However, those positive successes uplift attitudes for both residents and staff. We are committed to continuing the improvements and moving forward in a positive direction.
Now the REAL SUCCESSES…. The boys
Two boys come to mind, brothers who we will call the (Angels). At the time they arrived they were in the 2nd and 3rd grade.
The second success story I wanted to talk about is a first grader with multiple siblings who came to us as all first graders would, unsure, scared and wanting his parents. We will call him (Adam).
The next success story I would like to talk about is a teenager named Aaron. He arrived alone, hundreds of miles from any family and was unsure of today, much less his future!