Our Mission: Stormlily Ranch exists to provide a safe and peaceful ranch environment where at-risk youth and those affected by sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking find hope and the healing touch of Jesus through hands-on experience with rescued horses.
Looking at the mission, you’ll see the Ranch will serve both at-risk youth and those affected by sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking.
For now, let's look specifically at at-risk youth.
For our purposes, an at-risk youth is a child or adolescent who is less likely to transition successfully into adulthood.
Success is subjective, right? It can include academic success and job readiness, the ability to be financially independent, and ultimately, the ability to become a positive member of society.
While there’s not just one thing that’s used to determine if a child is at risk, factors such as his or her family dynamics and poverty level as well as education level are often key indicators.
When it comes to the Springfield area, here’s what we know about poverty specifically…
Based on average household income and home values from 28 Missouri cities with populations of at least 25,000, data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey shows the poorest city is Springfield.
With an average Springfield household earning $37,491 a year, it ranks far below the statewide median household income of $57,290 and the national average of $64,994.
While those numbers perhaps should not be the sole determiners of a “poorest city” designation, there’s no denying Springfield has a lot of families who are struggling financially.
And, all it takes is a quick Google search to confirm that children and youth living in poverty are more likely to make violent or criminal choices, both as a youth and into adulthood.
In fact, a study by Mike Males from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice in San Francisco supports the argument that teenage poverty is most to blame for teenage crime.
With the 2021 Springfield Community Focus Report showing 15.3% of families in Greene County at or under poverty level, it’s clear there are thousands of children and youth in our area who are at risk.
From just these few stats, you can see the need to provide a place for at-risk youth to experience hope and healing is here.
If you’re wondering how horses help with this, then stay tuned. We’ll cover that in a future prayer post.
The other group of people we’ll serve at Stormlily Ranch is those affected by sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking. We’ll dive into that need more deeply next month together.
Do you want to be part of bringing hope and healing through Stormlily Ranch?
Right now, Stormlily Ranch is in its infancy. That's what's so exciting—God has put this vision on my heart, and I know He is going before us preparing the way and preparing the hearts of people like you who will come alongside us to make it happen.
Your first step? Join the Stormlily Ranch Prayer Team!