Boys Town was founded as a home and school for homeless, abandoned, neglected or otherwise underprivileged boys, regardless of color or creed, by Father Edward J. Flanagan (1886-1948) on December 10, 1917. The first Father Flanagan's Boy's Home at 25th and Dodge Streets in Omaha, Nebraska, sheltered five boys...three from the Juvenile Court and two homeless newsboys.
On October 17, 1921, Father Flanagan brought Overlook Farm outside Omaha, nucleus of today's Boys Town campus. From here thousands of Boys Town residents have gone on to become productive citizens in all walks of life.
The philosophy of Boys Town is summarized in Father Flanagan's words: "Our young people are our greatest wealth. Give them a chance and they will give a good account of themselves. No boy wants to be bad. There is only bad environment, bad training, bad example, bad thinking." In 1972 Boys Town expanded its services by creating the Boys Town Institute to help communicatively handicapped boys and girls, and the Boys Town Center to seek root causes of major youth problems that threaten young people everywhere.