Last Year in Idaho

  • Students were cyberbullied (1 in 6)
  • Students considered suicide
  • Students purposely hurt themselves
  • Felt depressed to the point of stopping usual activities (nearly 4 in 10)
  • Students attempted suicide
  • Girls were physically forced to have sex
  • Girls were physically hurt by a partner (1 in 14)

Source: Center for Disease Control (2019).

Letter From the CEO

We Unite for Idaho's Youth

I will always be grateful for 2020. Certainly, this will be recorded in the history books as a year when the world had to change its plans and forge a new path forward. We will remember the challenges and the adversity as well as the humor and the humility (and the toilet paper crisis).

It has been a year that changed the way we understand adversity, stress, fear, hope, freedom, and our part in a global community.

The quarantine has given us the opportunity to reflect upon and count our blessings. It has also refueled a passion to help young people for whom the difficulties of 2020 are just another in a long line of challenges. I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of compassion and support from people who are seeing the impact of trauma on youth through new eyes.

So, yes, I am grateful for this year. It helped us reframe the conversation about adversity and reminded us of the power of a community united. It showed our staff, donors, volunteers, and advocates that by being good stewards of our resources, we were able to keep our program doors open and help those youth who needed us most. We were able to expand so we can help more young people long after this pandemic has ended.

  • We united to maintain all programs and services during the shutdown and retain ALL staff positions.
  • We united to expand programs to include TeleMental Health.
  • We united with corporate sponsors to take our annual galas in Coeur d’Alene and Boise online to keep our supporters safe and our mission going.
  • We united with incredible organizations like the Women’s and Children’s Alliance and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe to pool our resources and work together to help more youth and families.
  • We united with our donors, shoppers, volunteers, and staff to weather a storm no one saw coming. When the nation was at a standstill and small and large companies alike were laying off their entire workforces, not a single Idaho Youth Ranch employee was laid off.

When we had to close our stores, our staff worked to deliver food to foodbanks and we used our spaces to make masks to keep people safe.

This spring, we told our donors how the young people living in our state were trapped in darkness without the watchful eyes of mandatory reporters—those trusted adults like teachers, counselors, social workers, coaches, and police officers—and how those youth were struggling more than ever before. Our donors rose to the occasion to help us fight for our kids through donation matching and advocacy.

In these pages you will see the results of your dedication to Idaho’s kids and see how, by uniting together, Idahoans stepped up to nurture hope, healing, and resilience in the face of unprecedented obstacles and we will introduce you to Idaho Youth Ranch's next great challenge - bringing Idaho's kids home.

Thank you for uniting with us.

Despite the extraordinary challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, our donors, staff, and advocates came together to expand our services and made them more accessible to kids from every corner of Idaho.

Serving more kids throughout Idaho.

We Unite by Providing Accessible Programs & Services

Moments of tremendous adversity also create moments of growth, opportunity, and strength. These are not just lessons we teach the kids at Idaho Youth Ranch; we live and breathe in our mission to nurture hope, healing, and resilience.

In March 2020, Idaho Youth Ranch was having one if its best years. Our thrift stores were producing record revenue, more donors had joined our ranks, and our therapists had success after success as more people continued to learn that we are so much more than a thrift store.

Then the pandemic hit.

While for-profit and not-for-profit organizations around the country were finding ways to scale back, we kept our doors open for youth and expanded our services throughout the state.

Within ten days of the governor-issued stay-at-home order, Idaho Youth Ranch launched TeleMental Health Services.

We built a vehicle that will deliver our proven therapies to kids and families in every corner of Idaho long after the pandemic passes.

From March to June, we had inquiries from more than half of Idaho's counties and 136 young people accessed our therapies through TeleMental Health.

We are on track to continue to expand this option so no kid in Idaho has to face their trauma alone. They will not have to miss therapy because their mom has to work, because their family cannot afford gas, or because they live in a rural town in eastern Idaho.

Our proven therapies are accessible to everyone so that we can truly be Idaho's youth ranch.

We Unite for Results

At Idaho Youth Ranch, we are dedicated to transparency and growth. We wanted to better understand how effectively our programs are helping young people transform trauma into resilience and strength.

We partnered with Boise State University to help us measure the success of our programs for Idaho's youth. We know that individual outcomes such as resilience and hope lead to better situational outcomes such as healthy relationships, which lead to long-term goals such as improved academics and a reduced likelihood of substance abuse and criminal behavior.

We Unite With Our Community

Adversity takes many forms. There are so many young people in Idaho who need help, and no one organization can do it alone.

That is why we believe in standing together with other organizations in our community who are working to create promising futures for the youth and families of Idaho.

In the last twelve months, Idaho Youth Ranch has forged new relationships and deepened those we had with organizations throughout the state to create a safety net for youth and families all over Idaho.

In May 2020 we announced a partnership with the Women’s and Children’s Alliance (WCA) in Boise, an organization dedicated to serving survivors of domestic violence. The closure of their thrift store began a conversation with Idaho Youth Ranch that resulted in a new collaboration that allows us to share resources. WCA clients recovering from domestic violence and abuse will have the opportunity to access Idaho Youth Ranch job training programs, focusing on roles within our network of thrift stores, the handling of merchandise in our distribution center, and administrative services in our central office. These skills are important for their journey toward independence. For WCA clients, this skills-based job training will also create ongoing employment opportunities in retail, distribution, and administrative services.

“We know how important it is for the clients that we serve to be able to develop the job skills necessary to become self-sufficient. This new skills-based job training based on the successful YOUTHWORKS! program that Idaho Youth Ranch provides is an important step in helping our clients gain independence.”

-Bea Black, CEO of the Women’s and Children’s Alliance

In North Idaho, our team works with Cornerstone Cottage, a residential program that serves girls in foster care who have experienced significant trauma. Our team at Anchor House provides weekly group Equine Therapy sessions as well as individual and family therapy.

"Collaboration with IYR is important to support our girls in processing past trauma, abuse, and neglect. It supports the girls' healing and being able to move forward with permanency and graduate from our facility. We would not be able to offer these services to our girls without the collaboration."

-Heather Johnson, LMSW Cornerstone Cottage

We Unite With Our Community

A big part of what makes Idaho so great is the companies that call it home. Our corporate partners are Idaho companies who take particular pride in investing in the communities where they live and work so we can have a better future for everyone.

When the pandemic meant that those organizations would not get the recognition they deserved at our annual fundraising event, Wine Women & Shoes, they stood by us and told us to keep their sponsorship dollars as a donation despite COVID-19 having an impact on their businesses as well.

These organizations united with us to keep our doors open so young people who were struggling in the darkness and stress of the global pandemic would have access to the proven therapies they need.

“Washington Trust Bank is committed to our community and we believe in the Idaho Youth Ranch mission. That’s why we’re doing whatever it takes during this difficult time.”

-Jaymi Hugo, Regional Operations Manager

Partners and Foundations

Whittenberger Foundation

MJ Murdock Charitable Trust

CarMax Foundation

The Gibney Family Foundation

The Tomlinson Family Foundation

lnnovia Foundation

Idaho Community Foundation

Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation

Rueb Idaho, Inc

IHFA funded through the HUD Continuum of Care Grant

Family and Youth Services Bureau Runaway and Homeless Youth Program

Gladys E. Langroise Fund at Idaho Community Foundation

Idaho Commission on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance

St. Luke's Community Health Improvement Fund

We are a proud recipient of United Way Funding

We Unite for Sustainability

Much of our mission takes place in our stores - places where people from all walks of life come to find employment, support, and camaraderie. We have refugees from the Congo, people recovering from homelessness, single parents, and recovering addicts working within the walls of our stores trying to build a better life for themselves and their loved ones.

The stores are also a classroom for our YOUTHWORKS! kids.

YOUTHWORKS! is a summer career-readiness program we offer to help high school students and recent graduates earn work experience and learn important skills like customer service, succeeding in a job interview, and building a resume.

When Estelle decided to join YOUTHWORKS!, she didn't know that it was part of the same organization that had kept her safe in 2010 when domestic violence ripped her family apart.

She and her brother came to live at Hays House after a violent episode in her family. Estelle stayed at Hays House for two months until she could safely transition to live with her grand­mother, with whom the sixteen-year-old stayed until her father could support her.

At twenty-one, Estelle was still struggling to come out of her shell and was unsure what to do with her future. He father heard about YOUTHWORKS! and thought it would be a great opportunity for Estelle to get some experience.

Today, Estelle is still a full-time member of our thrift store team.

Estelle wrote to a young woman at Hays House celebrating her high school graduation:

As a former resident of Hays myself, I wanted to say that no matter what happens, no matter where you live or where you're from, your past does not have to be your future.
I was told by my teachers, counselors, and even my family that I was a bad kid, that I would not graduate, and that I'd be homeless before I was old enough to drive if I kept behaving the way I was behaving.
And none of those things came true, because I knew they weren't true! So don't ever give up on life, and life will never give up on you . ... I see how far both my brother and I have come (and how much my mom has grown, as well) in just the ten years it's been since we lived there.
So yeah, tell the world!! I will never not be excited about everything Idaho Youth Ranch has to offer!

Last Year, Idaho Youth Ranch Thrift Stores:

Provided over 300 people with full-time jobs that included paid time off and affordable health and dental insurance!

Provided over $2 Million to support our proven therapies.

Including nearly $303,000 through change round-up and in-store donations!

0 Idaho Youth Ranch Employees were laid off during COVID-19!

Over $4.1 Million

invested in building resilience for generations to come

Thanks to the incredible support of our donors, volunteers, and supporters and the careful stewardship of our resources, Idaho Youth Ranch was able to the weather the storm of the 2020 pandemic. Not only did we keep our doors open, we expanded our services-all the while, we even kept our staff whole. No one was laid off as a result of COVID-19.

This year was a record year in many ways, but what we learned is that when adversity comes, we and our advocates, like our kids, are resilient.

Thank you for uniting with us in 2020 (July 2019 - June 2020) and standing by Idaho's most vulnerable youth.

Hailey sat alone and heartbroken on Christmas Day. The seventeen-year-old girl who had been lost in a sea of trauma since she was very small sat lonely, 1,800 miles away from her family.

Hailey spent the early years of her life in a home where addiction, neglect, abuse, and violence were the norm. The trauma she experienced before she could read or write has haunted her entire life, despite being adopted into a healthy family when she was five years old.

“I spent thirteen years not dealing with my trauma. I spent all that time putting it aside and not wanting to deal with it. [Idaho Youth Ranch] helped me face that trauma, and while I haven't yet come to terms with it, I can look back on it and grow from it now."

Hailey came to Idaho Youth Ranch after a short stay at a mental health facility following a suicide attempt. Hailey had tried to reconnect with her biological mother, and when she found out that was impossible, she felt it was too much to bear. She didn't know where to go or how to cope with the weight of the trauma that she had carried her entire life.

For Hailey, going home was not a good option, so she came to stay at Idaho Youth Ranch Hays House until her caseworkers were able to find a long-term residential program that could help her.

"There's nowhere in Idaho for kids like me. I had to be sent to Arkansas to get the help that I needed."

Hailey's advocates finally found a placement for her over 1,800 miles away, in Arkansas.

Hailey returned to Idaho after nine months away. Her family and therapist recommended that she spend the remaining time before she turned eighteen at Hays House, where she finished high school online (and graduated as salutatorian of her class!).

Hailey wants everyone to know how important it is that long-term residential treatment for youth be available in Idaho. Shortly after she returned from her stay, Hailey's younger brother was also sent to an out-of-state facility.

“I really have come a long way and I am so grateful for the help that I had here [at Idaho Youth Ranch]. When I look back on everything, I know that I would have done things differently and I know that I've grown. I also know that the cycle is going to stop with me. For me, success looks like growing up and having a healthy relationship. I've always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, and my kids will never experience what I've experienced."

Today there are over 120 kids like Hailey who are living out of state for long-term residential treatment because there is nowhere for them to go in Idaho.

"It's hard. It's just so hard. It's hard to be sent away. It's hard to spend holidays by yourself. It's hard when you make plans and they fall through. Now, I've been on both sides of it. I know how hard it was to be sent away, and now I know how hard it is to see my brother get sent away and not be able to check on him and see how he's doing."

Hailey is now in a better place emotionally. She is excited about going to college to study graphic design so she can have a career that allows her to work from home. The Equine Therapy program at Idaho Youth Ranch gave her the opportunity to share her passion for horses with the other kids at Hays House, and it allowed her the opportunity to be a "big sister" to the other kids at Idaho Youth Ranch when she couldn't be a big sister to her siblings at home.

"I'm just so excited that this resource is going to be available to kids here in Idaho. I'm a little sad that it wasn't available for me or for my brother but knowing that soon kids like me won't have to be sent away anymore gives me so much hope. That there are so many beds is amazing! The facility I was at had only sixteen beds and every one of them was filled by a kid from Idaho."

We Unite to Bring Idaho's Kids Home

"We love Idaho, and we believe in taking care of our own. Idaho's most vulnerable kids should not be sent to other states for the help they need. It's time to support their families, help them heal here in Idaho, and allow all of our children to live up to their God-given potential."


For Idaho families, especially low-income families, residential treatment options are nearly nonexistent.

On average, every three days an Idaho family on Medicaid has to send their child out of state in search of residential treatment.

Unfortunately, we know that long-term treatment success declines when:

  • Families are not involved in treatment.
  • Additional trauma is created due to separation from family
  • There is a lack of therapist continuity during aftercare.
  • Youth don't have local coordination to re-enter school and the community.

We are hard at work to finalize plans to bring Idaho's kids home with a new 64-bed, long-term residential facility that will lead the Pacific Northwest in providing long-term residential care for young people struggling with adversity using state-of-the-art, proven therapies.

Youth will be supported in a beautiful, natural environment with 24-hour nursing, psychiatric care, proven therapeutic treatment models, and a year round school. Designed and modeled after leading national facilities, the center will include medication reduction, nutrition, and physical fitness in a secure environment with 24-hour supervision. All of this care is in support of one goal: helping kids heal and return to their families and communities in a safe and supported manner.

We Unite for Generations to Come

Since 1953, Idaho's kids have found hope, healing, and resilience with the support of Idahoans who believe our kids are more than the sum of their trauma and that the worst of their yesterdays do not have to define the best of their tomorrows.

Yes. In 2020, the world changed its plans, but we did not. Come what may, Idaho Youth Ranch and our supporters stood by our kids in an hour of darkness. We learned that we are an organization that stands strong in the face of adversity and that our supporters create a lasting legacy that will echo across generations of Idahoans.

What would you do if you had the power to do something remarkable today while making an impact that would last forever - the kind of impact that takes little time and costs you nothing? All of this is possible when you take a moment to review and update the beneficiary designations for your retirement and bank accounts.

If you have any of the following, then you have a great opportunity to leave your own lasting impact:

  • IRA, 40l(k), or 403(b) retirement accounts
  • Investment accounts
  • Checking, savings, or CD account
  • Life insurance you no longer need

The process of naming beneficiaries is easy. It gives you the power and control to tell your administrator who will inherit your accounts when you pass away. With a beneficiary designation, you still own the account and can continue to use it to meet your needs. To name your beneficiaries, ask your account custodian, insurance agent, or bank to send you a beneficiary designation form, fill it out, and return it You can name family, friends or an organization like ours to inherit your account. When you leave a gift to us, we will be able to continue our work.

By including Idaho Youth Ranch in your estate plan, you will become part of a legacy that will live on to touch the lives of generations of vulnerable Idahoans.

Board of Directors

Josh Tyree, Chairman

Leroy D. Custer, Chair Elect

Harry Amend

Henry Atencio

Jim Bratnober

Donna Findlay

Angie Harrison

Sheila Hennessey

Jim Johnston, MD

Shane B. Mace

Brinnon Garrett Mandel

Tim Reid

Rick Rietmann

Stephen Robertson

Brian J. Scott

Chris Taylor

Julie VanOrden

Ron Ashley, Director Emeritus