Hanna Boys Center changes the lives of at-risk, motivated youth through faith, education and caring, helping them grow into productive members of society.
Our Guiding Principle…
We believe that regardless of what may have happened to them in childhood, every person deserves the opportunity to lead a happy, productive and fulfilled life.
One in six people – over 50 million Americans – have experienced significant childhood adversity and trauma, which leads to markedly higher unemployment, violence, incarceration, family dysfunction and social burden, and tends to repeat with each new generation.
Hanna Boys Center provides a unique program for at-risk teens with the education, therapeutics and care that heals the effects of childhood trauma, allowing youth to mature into fully-functioning, responsible adults. Through this residential program as well as highly trained staff, teachers and leadership, Hanna helps motivated teens make the difficult changes necessary to get their lives back on track.
What is Hanna Boys Center?
Founded in 1945, Hanna Boys Center is a residential treatment center in Sonoma, California, with an on- campus accredited high school, Archbishop Hanna High School, serving 8th through 12th grade students with at risk youth programs.
The majority of Hanna’s residents have experienced high levels of adversity and toxic stress, including abuse, neglect, household dysfunction, family strife and community violence. A typical Hanna boy has experienced difficulties at home, fallen behind in school and struggled with interpersonal relationships. These experiences often result in strained family relationships as well as academic and social problems.
Many of our boys come from underserved and disadvantaged communities , mostly in Northern California. Boys who choose to attend Hanna must demonstrate a high level of motivation to create positive, permanent change in their lives.
Families commit to being actively involved in their son’s placement, including attending parenting groups and family therapy sessions. Regular home visits provide boys and their families the opportunity to practice newly acquired skills and promote important connections.
Hanna’s on-campus Archbishop Hanna High School staffed by specially trained teachers and staff. Founded in 1949, the school is fully accredited through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Class sizes are small, ranging from 8 to 10 students, so boys receive individualized help.
In their studies and daily lives, boys learn practical skills, as well as respect for their community and faith traditions of our program.
The boys live in housing facilities specifically designed for children with behavioral problems. These group facilities are on-campus units we call cottages and group homes. Each type of residence has several dedicated youth counselors, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Residence staff work 3-1/2 day shifts, sleeping inside their assigned residence, with the students.
In addition to serving as role models, our youth counselors help each boy develop socially appropriate behaviors—from using good table manners, helping with studying skills, maintaining personal hygiene, keeping their rooms clean—to fulfilling assigned chores. Boys are also taught a variety of life skills, including cooking, budgeting, finding employment and preparing for life away from a protected environment.
Hanna relies solely on private donations from individuals, private foundations and local corporations. Over 20,000 individual donors contribute every year. We receive no government or Church funding. Families are charged tuition based upon their financial situation, and boys are not denied admission due to a family’s inability to pay.
Our Ever-Widening Vision
Through the Hanna Institute we are leveraging the lessons learned from our residential program out beyond our campus, providing training and consulting to other youth-serving professionals throughout the region. As a thought-leader in trauma-informed care, Hanna envisions a world where youth-focused organizations everywhere have the awareness, resources and drive to help young people overcome the impacts of a challenging childhood and go on to lead meaningful lives.