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Youth Homes Of Mid-america Charity Profile
The agency was founded in April of 1943 by Hobart Ross, a wealthy Des Moines-area businessman. Mr. Ross was motivated with a deep love for at-risk children. The original name for the organization was the YMCA Boys Home of Iowa.Because the scope and array of programs changed over the years to include off-campus programs and programs for girls, the name was changed in 1987 to Youth Homes of Mid-America.
Youth Homes of Mid-America is a private, non-profit children’s and family social service agency. Youth Homes is governed by a 25-member volunteer Board of Directors. Youth Homes of Mid-America is licensed by the Iowa Department of Human Services. We have memberships with the Coalition for Family and Children’s Services in Iowa, the Child Welfare League of America, the Iowa Association of Community Providers and the Johnston Chamber of Commerce.
We are also the Youth Homes of Mid-America Foundation which is a separate 501(c)(3) organization and which has a mission to financially support the activities of the agency. The foundation has memberships with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Mid-Iowa Planned Giving Council, and Leave a Legacy Iowa.
Currently, we offer six programs in a variety of settings ranging from a structured, residential treatment campus to a tracking and monitoring program for first-time juvenile offenders.
All of our clients are Iowa children who are referred to us from either the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS), or from the Iowa Juvenile Court. All are adjudicated as either a child in need of assistance (“CINA”), or as a delinquent child.
These children have a wide variety of severe emotional, behavioral and educational difficulties. They come from all parts of Iowa and from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Some come to YHMA without any family support while others come from families with their own internal struggles. Many have reached their adolescent years without any of the coping skills necessary to become fully-engaged young adults. Most of our Ross Campus residential boys come to us after several prior treatment placements.
Most of our clients have a low self esteem and many perform poorly in school and are academically well behind their peers. Clients can be very aggressive or withdrawn or may come to us after a stay in a substance abuse center. While some clients may have been physically or sexually abused, others are the perpetrators.
Because many clients' difficulties lie within the family, we also work closely with family members in an effort to assist those in need of counseling or parenting programs. Youth Homes of Mid-America is not equipped to serve physically handicapped children or those children who are mentally disabled.