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

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).

Goodness, what a sweet boy, whom all staff fell in love with and wanted and did protect and pamper him. He also, proved to all of us that he was a big boy and could take care of himself, but he still required the nurturing and support that he sadly had not been getting. During the course of the next year the family failed in the reunification process and their rights were terminated. Adam, didn't fully understand but visitation with his siblings continued so he was overall happy, based on his situation.

Let's not sugarcoat Adams issues, he was impulsive, angry and impatient, along with all the other normal issues children his age have. Children his age don't need to understand the actual process, but they need to know they are safe and secure and taken care of, and out of the home, away from siblings, he couldn't. Anyone around Adam realized how special he was and knew that when the right situation came along to be adopted he could flourish.

As the school year progressed, to everyone’s surprise, his teacher reached out to the Department of Human Services as a possible adoptive parent. She did this not only for Adam, but for his sister and brother as well! While the teacher knew Adam, she was willing to commit to the siblings sight unseen to keep them together! This loving family took all three and over the next few months finalized the adoption.

Adam, remained in the same school and several staff ran into him and the smile on his face said everything. It was truly evident that he was loved and taken care of. A year later the staff had a pizza party at a local pizzeria and Adam was there, he ran up to us smiling ear to ear and said hello and he wanted us to meet his mom and dad…..

There have been many other success stories at the Boys Home and moving forward we will try to share them with you. It's also important to realize that some success stories have yet to be written and are a work in progress. The success is in returning, or in some cases, finding normalcy in a boy's life that in many cases they never had

Our Location

Fort Smith Boys Home
5904 South Zero
Fort Smith, AR 72903
(479) 646-2819

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