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Acres of Hope: A Horse Ranch for at Risk Youth


Acres of Hope is a youth ranch located just west of Salem, the Oregon State Capital. The picturesque setting looks like a horse ranch, but feels like a place of safety and belonging.

Founders, Justin and Emmy Arana have created a sanctuary with the mission to share HOPE (Healing, Opportunity, Purpose, Education) with adolescents that are feeling HURT (Harmed, Unseen, Rejected, Traumatized). Together, staff will foster freedom for youth to create the connections they desire with nature, their instructor, the horses, and their parents/guardians.

Is Acres of Hope a religious organization?

Justin and Emmy wholeheartedly believe that God not only gave them the dream for Acres of Hope, but that He also provided the property that Acres of Hope calls home. Their faith is the foundation for a deep desire to create an atmosphere where everyone feels safe and welcome, no matter their religious affiliation.

Why is the relationship between the horses and youth so important to Acres of Hope?

Each teen deals with trauma and loss in different ways. For some, grief, trauma, and loss can be hard to talk about. At Acres of Hope we offer the space for kids to connect with horses; who show love, adoration, and acceptance without any words.

Does Acres of Hope offer any other programs besides working with Horses?

Yes. Horses are our passion, but we want kids to be able to connect where they feel led. As Acres of Hope grows, that may look like walking the trails throughout the acreage, going on fishing excursions, or learning how to camp in the wilderness. They may choose to spend their time working in the garden or simply playing with the dogs that will eagerly greet them upon their arrival. Every session may look different, but the person who greets them will always be the same.

What is the cost to families for sessions?

Thanks to generous contributions from community partners, there is no cost to participants. Our heart is to minimize obstacles and freely welcome any youth who desire to participate in our programs.


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