Without the support of our friends and community members, we would not be able to provide each child with the opportunity for change and hope.
Below are the individuals who we’ve chosen to recognize for their impact on our kids by naming homes and programs in their honor.
Tom Roy joined the Youth Homes board when he moved to Missoula in 1974. He quickly became an integral part of our first home by serving as the chair of the administrative committee and then as board president. In 1979, we named our home on Central Avenue after Tom to honor his dedication and willingness to work tirelessly on behalf of children. His commitment is best demonstrated by his statement that what is most important to him in life is “that my sons would look back and say I had been a good father.”
Susan Talbot came to Youth Homes in 1976 and served on our board for eight years, two of which as president. While she is an extremely generous donor, it is Susan’s willingness to roll up her sleeves and get things done that truly defines her spirit and style of engagement. From hosting kids at her summer cabin to roasting a pig at our early summer fundraising parties, she helped influence a generation of philanthropists. When we were developing our two treatment homes, it seemed fitting to name both homes after Susan to honor her quiet and strong voice on behalf of children.
Shirley Miller was involved in youth services throughout her government career in Helena and Cut Bank. Shirley’s positive attitude, plus her talents to lead from behind and look for ways to advocate for youth, made her an ideal person to carry on the legacy of attention rather than detention for young people in crisis. In 1991, the Attention Home moved to its permanent facility on North California Street and became the Shirley Miller Attention Home, just months after Shirley’s death at a young age.
Our Family Care Program is named after the late Dan Fox, a lifelong advocate for children. Dan worked for over 20 years in Montana’s State Child Protective Services Program and was a believer in mediation and conflict resolution for families in crisis. Dan left us too soon at the age of 47, but his commitment to and concern for these children lives on through our work. Dan first worked with our kids as a social worker, and later, at the end of his life, he addressed high-needs children in the state’s custody.
The founding of a treatment home that specialized in the emotional issues of teenage boys provided an ideal opportunity to honor Dennis Radtke. In addition to serving on the Youth Homes board, Dennis worked as a guidance counselor at Hellgate High School for more than 30 years. His willingness to work directly with teens throughout his entire time at Hellgate honors the work of our therapeutic youth care workers and their critical relationships with the children we serve. Dennis went on to work for Youth Homes as a clinical supervisor in our foster care program and then to CASA of Missoula before retiring.