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Chatsworth boys home gives youths a chance at success

For 78 years, the Rancho San Antonio Boys Home has helped troubled teens overcome the challenges of their less-than-idyllic childhoods. Each of the residents arrives at the bucolic, 28-acre Chatsworth via the juvenile justice system – some convicted of criminal offenses, others coping with drug or alcohol addiction.

With the help of an interdisciplinary program that includes counseling, substance-abuse treatment, gang intervention and education, the nonprofit tries to get the youths back on the right path as they head into adulthood.

“I wouldn’t have made it this far without the help of Rancho,” said Richard Bartley, a former resident at the facility who now works there as a counselor and helps run its transitional housing unit.

Bartley, 31, lived at Rancho from 1994-97, ordered there by the courts after an arrest for marijuana possession. Bolstered by the help he received through the program, Bartley earned an associate’s degree at Pierce College and now is a licensed addictions treatment counselor.

“I definitely feel that I’m successful and I do hope to achieve higher goals,” Bartley said. “I would really like to go back (to college) and get a bachelor’s and master’s and possibly even a doctorate.”

Rancho San Antonio was founded in a Redondo Beach rental in 1933 by the Catholic Big Brothers organization.