Helping children and families since 1949…
Since its founding as a private, nonprofit agency in 1949, Boys & Girls Town has grown to become one of the largest children’s service agencies in Missouri. The concept for the organization originated from Lt. Bill James of St. Louis, Mo. Stirred by a harrowing experience while serving in World War II, James vowed "to do something for somebody." James set out to raise money for a home that could provide treatment for boys with behavioral disorders or problems with the law. With the help of friends in his American Legion post and local St. Louis business leaders, James was able to build a Boys Town campus in St. James, Mo. In June 1949, the campus opened its doors to its first 10 troubled boys.
Over the years, Boys & Girls Town grew with the acquisition of the St. Louis Center campus in 1988 and the purchase of the Springfield Children's Home in 1989. The organization became co-ed in 1989 and later changed its name from Boys Town of Missouri to Boys & Girls Town of Missouri.
In order to provide the highest quality treatment, the facilities in St. James and Springfield were modernized. In 1996 the St. James campus was completely rebuilt. Shortly thereafter, in 1998, the Springfield campus underwent its own renovation. The expansion hasn't stopped there. In April of 2001, Boys & Girls Town proudly opened the doors to the Ozarks Family Resource Center in Springfield and merged with The Front Door, a residential facility in Columbia.
In 2005, the Columbia campus was relocated to a five-acre facility on Bearfield Road to expand programs to serve more area children.
Boys & Girls Town of Missouri merged with Edgewood Children’s Center, based in St. Louis, in 2009 to form one of the largest children’s social service agencies in Missouri, impacting the lives of more than 9,600 children and family members through foster care case management, residential treatment, outreach and therapy programs for at-risk children and youth with a history of abuse and neglect or severe behavior and emotional disorders. Our treatment programs are a viable alternative to costly hospital stays and offer real hope for children and their families.