What is Special K Ranch?
Special K Ranch is a 50l (c) (3) nonprofit corporation governed by a board of directors. The ranch has a strong Christian emphasis in philosophy and practice. Special K offers a living and learning experience in a rural and agricultural setting for adults with developmental disabilities.
What is the basic program?
Special K Ranch is a place where people with developmental disabilities live, learn, and work. Residents are learning independent living and vocational skills through participation in daily personal, household, and ranch responsibilities. The individuals in each house are responsible for the activities and maintenance of their own home.
Whom does Special K Ranch serve?
The Ranch serves both men and women, ages 25 and older (although applicants may apply at age 18), who have developmental disabilities. The program is designed to serve people who need to live within a supportive community for the entirety of their lives. It is not designed to serve individuals exhibiting extreme behavior, emotional disturbances, or criminal delinquency. Residents to be admitted must have the ability to manage primary self-help skills and to communicate basic needs. Special K Ranch serves 35 people in eight separate residences.
Does Special K Ranch charge the residents?
An affordable monthly fee is charged for each resident's room, board, and life services, i.e., 24 hour supervision, training, counseling, transportation, and general assistance. The residents’ Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is applied toward the fee. Scholarships and donations help cover remaining fees.
Are the ranchers compensated?
Yes. Due to their disabilities, full time and/or well-paying jobs tend to be limited. The ranch offers six vocational programs that are designed to cover a variety of skillsets for which they are compensated.
How does the ranch accommodate aging residents?
Our work program has always been based on people working at their own level of ability, not on a labor or production standard. If, for health reasons, one of our residents needs assistance beyond our service abilities, we would help them find an appropriate placement nearby so they could continue to be involved as much as possible in our activities and with their friends.
Do residents graduate from the program?
Special K Ranch is a life-long living and working opportunity for adults with developmental disabilities. It is not a school or training center where people complete a curriculum and then move on to something else. The residents continue to grow to new levels of vocational and social skills. Residents are welcome to live and work here until they choose to leave or have other circumstances.
Do the residents get to leave the ranch?
Yes, residents leave a few times a year. Most enjoy visiting family and friends around the holidays. The ranch encourages each house on the property to take a family vacation.
Do the ranchers participate in Special Olympics?
Yes. The ranchers play basketball and also bowling in Special Olympics.There is a dance after the basketball tournament that the ranchers look forward to.
How is Kiwanis involved?
The Billings Area Kiwanis Clubs first became involved when approached by a group who were interested in modeling a program after Rainbow Acres in Camp Verde, Arizona. A committee was formed consisting of two to four members from each of the six Billings Area Kiwanis Clubs. This committee was responsible for the original development of Special K Ranch. SKR continues to solicit support from the Kiwanis Clubs in the Montana District and is a proud member of Montana Kiwanis.