“This is Home,” McCrossan Boys Ranch Opens Huyser Hall to Help Keep Changing Teens’ Lives

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Doors to a new residence hall opened on Thursday at McCrossan Boys Ranch.

The nearly 10,000 square foot addition houses 32 beds. It’s been nearly 50 years since the last housing unit was built and it signals the first time any of the teens staying there will have the option of their own room.

The project was completely funded by Iowa farmer Arie Huyser, who recently passed away. McCrossan says his donation is going to help them keep changing teens’ lives.

KDLT’s Carleen Wild introduces us to a teen who calls the ranch his home.

18-year-old Michael knew he didn’t have a lot of time left to get his act together. In and out of foster care and juvenile detention in Minnesota since he was 11, the McCrossan Boys Ranch, he knew, may be his last chance.

March 23, 2017 he was dropped off here, it’s a day he will never forget.

“It was big, it looked really nice, I knew this was the point where things were going to get better,” says Michael.

Things have, after an incredibly tough childhood and never wanting anyone to get too close, Michael has really opened up to the staff at McCrossan. And has taken significant steps with their help to turn his life around.

“I graduated, I have two jobs now, I go to Southeast Tech in the fall, everything is finally going my way,” said Michael.

McCrossan, he says, has taught him so many things, perhaps most importantly, it’s that there are people out there who do care. And that it’s important to trust someone enough to talk about whatever may be going on in your life.

The changes he’s made have him looking forward to college in the fall.

“I’ve always wanted to become an auto mechanic, it’s been one of my biggest dreams,” says Michael, “to go to school for that and know I’m going to get it done and do it well, I’m really ready for that. This is the place that helped me change, it really helped me get where I need to be and I’m at a point where I can look at this place and go, this is home.”

Michael is enrolled at Southeast Tech and begins this fall. In the meantime, he wants others to know that boys come out to the ranch from a variety of circumstances. Michael says he’s grateful for the community’s support.