ST. CLOUD -- This week in our "Behind the Scenes" series on WJON, we tour inside the we tour the St. Cloud Children's home hidden along the Beaver Island Trail.

The Catholic Charities St. Cloud Children's Home has been in St. Cloud for about 90 years.

Michelle Rhea is a therapist at the Children's Home and says the facility started as an orphanage but for the last 50 years has been a residential treatment facility for struggling youth.

"They can come here and we will help them develop basic skills, work through their trauma, and other experiences that have been difficult for them," says Rhea.

Kids ages 9-18 are placed into one of 6 cottages where they live in a family type atmosphere.

Unit Supervisor Ben Imdieke says about 12-16 kids can live together in these cottages and are put through a daily program to provide structure in their lives.

"They come here to try and work on those things they struggle on a little bit more intensely 24 hours a day rather than the little bits they have gotten," says Imdieke.

The staff provide meals, group discussions, activities and school all within the walls of the facility, where they hope the lessons they learn can help them as they go back to their homes.

"We don't just want kids to be successful while they are here, we want them to be successful when they leave here at home that's really the ultimate goal," says Imdieke.

A typical stay at the home is anywhere from 6-8 months and while the program might not work for every kid their success rate is still high.

"We have had some amazing stories from kids saying the Children's home changed my life, it really did," says Rhea.


The main office entrance of the St. Cloud Children's Home (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)