Boys Town to shut down its Orange County homes for at-risk youth – Orange County Register

Boys Town California, which operates family homes for at-risk youth on a tranquil, picturesque, 80-acre site in Trabuco Canyon, has announced that it will shut down operations there this summer.

Administrators say the move comes as they “shift resources to other programs.”

In addition to the Trabuco Canyon site, which is Boys Town’s only one in California, the 100-year-old Nebraska-based organization also will close sites in New York and Texas.

The move is part of Boys Town’s strategic planning process, as they examined the long-term financial viability of these programs, said Bob Pick, executive vice president of youth care.

“The decision is also based on what is best for the kids and families served by Boys Town and the long-term direction of the organization in order to devote more resources to research and innovation,” he said.

​Since opening in 1991, the Trabuco Canyon location has served hundreds of at-risk youth at four family homes for adolescents and one for younger children. It also has operated two family homes for siblings in Tustin. The program provides shelter and support for children who have suffered from abuse or neglect.

Employees at these locations will either be transferred to other locations or offered severance packages, according to a statement issued by the organization.

Boys Town will continue to offer its national hotline and education services in all 50 states.

Founded by Father Edward J. Flanagan in 1917 as Boys Town in a rundown Victorian mansion in Omaha, Neb., the organization now has sites across the country caring for tens of thousands of children.

Flanagan, an Irish immigrant, became internationally known after the 1938 film “Boys Town,” starring Spencer Tracy as the priest and Mickey Rooney as a wayward teenager. The movie won an Oscar for Tracy, who donated the statuette to the organization. The award is still displayed at its headquarters in Omaha.

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