Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

South Fargo residential center to open

FARGO - Nearly six years of planning and persistence are paying off for Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, as the agency prepares to move some of its operations to a new southside facility.

The Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Al and Johnne Bierdeman Center for Hope and Healing
The Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Al and Johnne Bierdeman Center for Hope and Healing is getting ready to open its doors at its south Fargo location. Carrie Snyder / The Forum

FARGO - Nearly six years of planning and persistence are paying off for Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, as the agency prepares to move some of its operations to a new southside facility.

The Al and Johnne Bierdeman Center for Hope and Healing is twice the size of the ranch's current residential facility. It has 18,600 square feet of space to house 16 children plus staff, said Carla Trittin Isom, head of marketing and public relations.

It will also house Dakota Family Services, an outreach mental health clinic.

Isom expects 2,500 people to visit the facility at 7151 15th St. S. in the next two days. An open house with tours will be held 1 to 7 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to noon Friday.

Residents will move in March 7, she said.

ADVERTISEMENT

The facility has lots of room and natural light. The single-person rooms are similar to those in college dorms. It is a private, secure place to stay for the 12- to 18-year-olds in the program, Isom said.

"We try to make it as homelike as possible, said development officer Eric Wilkie.

The facility was opposed by some area residents before the city approved its construction in 2010.

Residents there will get help to work through emotional and behavioral issues due to physical or sexual abuse, bullying, addiction and mental health issues, Isom said.

In the past year, 399 boys and girls have been helped by programs in Fargo, Minot or Bis-marck.

About a quarter of them have been helped in Fargo, either at the residential center, the safe house, or youth home, Wilkie said.

Another 740 individuals and families have been helped by outreach programs in Minot and Fargo.

Just north of the center, a school with six large classrooms will be finished by June, Isom said.

ADVERTISEMENT

The buildings and 30-plus acres of land are the first phase of a $15.4 million fundraising campaign, said the Rev. John Andreasen, DBGR's senior development officer.

About $10 million is needed to finish a follow-up phase, including a gym and chapel.

Some of those funding commitments are already made, he said.

The site can be accessed from 25th Street South by going east on the newly built 70th Avenue South.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

The Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Al and Johnne Bierdeman Center for Hope and Healing
in south Fargo

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
What To Read Next
Host Bryan Piatt is joined by Matt Entz, head coach of the North Dakota State Bison football team, to discuss the pressures of leading the program and how mental health is addressed with his players.
Artificial intelligence can now act as an artist or a writer. Does that mean AI is ready to play doctor? Many institutions, including Mayo Clinic, believe that AI is ready to become a useful tool.
Columnist Carol Bradley Bursack lists the various reason why some older adults may begin to shuffle as they age.
The Buffalo Bills safety who suffered a cardiac arrest on Monday Night Football in January is urging people to learn how to save lives the way his was saved.