90 Years Later, Father Flanagan's Dream Lives On In Las Vegas - 8 News NOW

Dave Courvoisier, Anchor

90 Years Later, Father Flanagan's Dream Lives On In Las Vegas

Posted: Updated:
On a quiet half-circle drive in a Northwest neighborhood, five ordinary homes are doing extraordinary work in the lives of foster kids. On a quiet half-circle drive in a Northwest neighborhood, five ordinary homes are doing extraordinary work in the lives of foster kids.
"Actually when I did hear about it, I was skeptical 'cause I've heard about it in the past, 'cause I was in Child Haven about four years ago," admitted Nichole. "Actually when I did hear about it, I was skeptical 'cause I've heard about it in the past, 'cause I was in Child Haven about four years ago," admitted Nichole.
"I have different trust levels for everyone, but I think that when it all comes together, that all of them are trustworthy. And that even if I can't go to someone, I still have four people to go to," said Alicana, on the left. "I have different trust levels for everyone, but I think that when it all comes together, that all of them are trustworthy. And that even if I can't go to someone, I still have four people to go to," said Alicana, on the left.
Luci and her husband Vil have two children of their own and bring a legacy of South Pacific Island traditions to the home. Luci and her husband Vil have two children of their own and bring a legacy of South Pacific Island traditions to the home.

In 1917, Father Flanagan had a dream that became Boys Town, a home for kids that nobody else wanted. Today, Boys Town is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. And for almost 20 years, it has been a growing presence in Las Vegas.  

It's now called "Girls & Boys Town of Nevada" and where many other foster care programs struggle, Girls and Boys Town seems to thrive and succeed.

On a quiet half-circle drive in a Northwest neighborhood, five ordinary homes are doing extraordinary work in the lives of foster kids.

"I've been in treatment centers. I've been in a boarding school, for treatment," said Girls and Boys Town resident, Nichole.

Nichole had a rough go of life until she got to this Girls and Boys Town home. And like most kids who've been in and out of placements, she had doubts.

"Actually when I did hear about it, I was skeptical 'cause I've heard about it in the past, 'cause I was in Child Haven about four years ago," admitted Nichole.

But this may be the most stability she's had in her life in a long time. For starters, she has five sisters. They are all different, yet with a commonality that binds them.

"I have different trust levels for everyone, but I think that when it all comes together, that all of them are trustworthy. And that even if I can't go to someone, I still have four people to go to, and I feel that they all encourage me to do the right thing than the wrong thing," said Alicana, another resident of the same home where Nichole lives. 

What holds it all together at home are parents -- called family teachers --  who show them above all -- "To love themselves, to trust themselves, to believe in themselves. That's the hardest thing, I think in many ways life has beaten them down, many of them," said Luci, part of the family teacher pair that runs the home like a family. 

Luci and her husband Vil have two children of their own and bring a legacy of South Pacific Island traditions to the home.  

The girls have responsibilities and chores, doing homework, minding rules, and accepting decisions are all part of "just letting them know there is a better way of living, and hopefully showing them that they can change their lifestyle," said Vil.

"We're home. We're home for kids that have no where else to go," explained Elizabeth Muto, the Director of Development for Girls and Boys Town Nevada.

Elizabeth -- herself an abandoned child as an infant -- claims no other program can offer the hope that Boys Town does.

 "And for a lot of these kids, this is the first time they see what a family looks like, behaves like. And here they learn one of the most valuable lessons, which is not only how to love, but how to be loved," Muto said.

You'll see more about Girls and Boys Town's 90th anniversary before the end of the year. The satellite campus in Las Vegas branched off the home campus in Omaha, Nebraska in the late '80s. 

In Las Vegas, the Girls and Boys Town program offers a full spectrum of services for troubled kids in the form of an emergency shelter, and the five Foster homes, like the one that Luci and Vil operate. 

In addition, Girls and Boys Town of Nevada operates a highly successful family intervention program going into the home and helping local parents with their parenting skills.

E-mail your comments to Anchor Dave Courvoisier.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.