Transforming the lives of abused and at-risk children, young adults and families by empowering them to create new chances, new choices and new hope in a caring community.
To break the cycle of abuse and neglect by mending spirits and renewing hope.
St. Jude’s Ranch for Children has three locations in Nevada. Our main campus in Boulder City, is located in the foothills overlooking beautiful Lake Mead about 30 minutes from Las Vegas. Our Crossings homeless youth program and our Child Focus sibling preservation locations are located in the city of Las Vegas. Please click here to learn more about our rich history and work in Nevada.
St. Jude’s Ranch for Children wasn’t a place, so much as a dream, in the mind of one well-meaning man. ”What if we could build a place for neglected children?” He wondered. “How much good could we do?”
A lot! For more almost 50 years, St. Jude’s Ranch has provided a safe, nurturing home with therapeutic residential treatment services to thousands of children in Nevada. St. Jude’s Ranch is making a difference by creating new lives with new hope for abused, abandoned and neglected children of all races and faiths.
The vision came from Father Jack Adam (1932 – 2007), an Episcopal priest who wanted to create a safe haven for abused children in Southern Nevada. He named the organization after St. Jude, the Patron Saint of Desperate Causes. At first, Father Jack’s project seemed to be one of those desperate causes, but that changed in 1966 when a group of local leaders came forward to help.
Claudine and Shelby Williams offered to help with fundraising and organized a successful gala called the “Nite of Stars.” With the help of Forrest Duke, the entertainment columnist at the Las Vegas Review Journal at the time, they convinced stars including Jack Benny, Shecky Greene, Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra to perform. Held November 15, 1966, at the Riviera Hotel, the event was a great success, raising more than $30,000.
Alvin Wartman, an attorney in Boulder City, persuaded City fathers to provide 40 acres of land for a campus. The Sisters of Charity, an order of nuns based in Bristol, England, agreed to care for the children.
Construction began in the Spring of 1967 and on September 1, 1967, Eddie – a boy from Elko, Nevada – became the first resident at St. Jude’s Ranch for Children. It wasn’t big or fancy, but the kind people of Southern Nevada quickly embraced the mission and the program.
The St. Jude’s Ranch Women’s Auxiliary was established and became the largest and most active support group in the Las Vegas area with more than 300 members. Builders, contractors and tradesmen offered to help develop the property. Publicity surrounding the Nite of Stars helped bring new supporters to the Ranch family.
From 1970 until 2000, Father Herbert A. Ward directed the campus. Under his leadership, St. Jude’s Ranch became one of Southern Nevada’s most visible and successful nonprofit organizations. It has expanded its' programs to Las Vegas to offer related services such as housing for homeless families and singles, employment and education assistance and sibling preservation for families separated in the foster care system.
Today, our campus is a community landmark and an important part of life in Boulder City. Tourists regularly stop by on their way to and from Las Vegas and Hoover Dam to visit the Gift Shop and weddings are conducted in the Chapel filled with colorful murals. Still, Father Jack would have no trouble recognizing the organization through all of its growth from that very first day. St. Jude’s Ranch for Children remains true to its mission: rescuing abused, abandoned and neglected children and providing a safe, nurturing and therapeutic home for them. We offer them the opportunity to dream; dreams never before thought possible!
Our Core Values
Our actions are inspired by the following core values:
- Joyful trust in the Lord
- A sense of humor
- Honesty, trustworthiness, integrity and loyalty
- Exceptional service to children, families, staff, donors and community
- Professionalism through accountability, transparency and fiscal responsibility
- Teaching our children and young adults to contribute to society
- Respect the dignity, beliefs and diversity of all people
The Results That Set Us Apart:
- Approved by Council on Accreditation
- We serve approximately 500 children/year through our programs.
- Average child stays with us 285 days.
- We keep siblings together – sometimes living as a family for the first time. The only facility able to take large sibling groups.
- Through our programs, we offer a continuum of care for children newborn through age 25.
- We operate high quality therapeutic programs – 100% compliance on all regulatory reviews.
- We keep teen moms and their babies together – ensuring the bonding of this new family.
- Our high school seniors have a 100% graduation rate.
- Our Recycled Card Program, an entrepreneurial teen-run job training program, teaches critical employment skills so they are prepared to be productive, wage-earning citizens.
- Our children are served nutritious, well-balanced meals to help promote health and well being.