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.

Everyone that came in contact with the Angels were instantly impressed, many of which inquired “ are they up for adoption?”. At the time they were not and still working on reunification, but over the course of the next year, rights were terminated with the parents. This sadly was the right thing to do, based on the many missed visitations and lack of compliance by the parents. During the next few weeks, the boy's Ad Litem came by and explained to them the adoption process.

The boy's handled things surprisingly well and continued to grow and be successful. Did I mention that both boys were honor roll students? With the exception of a few emotional issues, which were expected, they did very well, considering their circumstances.

A month later, the Department of Human Services had an adoption picnic, which brings children and families together in a very positive way without any commitments or guarantees. Literally, the boy's got off the van and walked right up to a family and spent the entire day with them. Both connected, and enjoyed the day without speaking to anyone else.

Then two weeks later, the Department of Human Services called and wanted me to attend an adoption meeting with the prospective family. With mixed emotions I attended, looking for all the reasons why this family was unsuitable and simply would not work out, trying my best to protect the boys. However, after the meeting it was obvious that this was not a good family, they were the perfect family. The adults were in their early 40’s and had two children in High School. They were both professionals, and they had plenty of love and support to give to others.

That very day the adoption process was started and the boys quickly were able to spend a lot of time with the family, which led to the boys living with them to begin the process. Over the course of the next 6-7 months the family grew closer and bonded, and this perfect match became permanent! I attended the adoption hearing and the tears of joy were on many faces, especially the boys who found a loving, nurturing home with two parents who happily accepted them as their own and the rest is history!

The adopting family later sent photos of their Florida vacation and the boys at the ocean, and to put icing on the cake, a photo of the boys with their new family hanging on the wall above the mantel on the fireplace.

Our Location

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

Stay Informed

Follow Us