NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A place that has cared for boys dealing with abuse and abandonment has closed. The Boy's Ranch in Nacogdoches shut down June 6 and will no longer provide support for youth males in Texas.
"It was a residential facility for severely emotionally disturbed boys. We generally have about 26 at any one point in time. A few months ago when had been increased to 30," said Boy's Ranch psychologist Dr. Joseph Kartye.
Shortly after increasing, the facility had to downsize to 22 boys due to state building codes.
Doctor Joseph Kartye was a psychologist at the boys ranch in Nacogdoches for 25 years. He had one goal when it came to helping the troubled youth that would stay for months and years at a time.
"It was to get them out of the mindset that their problems were due to abuse and neglect because then they became victims and were blaming everyone else. So, my response to them is always to tell them you're not here because you were abused, you're here because of the way you chose to act to that abuse," Kartye said.
Since opening in 1986, the staff has worked with Juvenile Probation facilities and Child Protective Services within each county of the state.
"Our philosophy with the boys is we have a lot of area out there and we need to make them responsible, so we give them a lot of chores to do," Kartye said. "We had all kinds of animals; horses, dogs, cats, geese, ducks, and it goes on."
The boys learned positive re enforcement skills and respect while working with the different animals.
Kartye said the Boy's Ranch would receive at least two phone calls a day from CPS case workers looking for vacancies.
The licensed psychologist has started his practice in 1966 and said he will continue his passion for working with others in East Texas.
"I have contracts with juvenile probation in Lufkin and Nacogdoches, and I also work for the Angelina County Court doing evaluations. So, that's going to keep me as busy," Kartye said.
Director Bill Harrison said this has been a difficult and sad time for him and his staff.
A spokesperson for CPS told East Texas News they have been preparing for the shut down since May. Approximately 23 boys will be moved to similar placement areas around the state such as foster homes.