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New Perspectives - December, 2001 Issue #88 

Gentle Spirit Ranch
Aguanga, California
Mark & Virginia Bonacquitta – Owners

Gentle Spirit Ranch, is a Christ-centered working farm/ranch for struggling teenage girls aged 13 to 17 who need “ a stronger family support system.” This “loving, nurturing and structured family-like setting provides guidance for the girls and their families “in a time of crisis.”

The girls are required to stay a minimum of one year at the ranch, which has the goal of family reunification. They “strictly work with families who want to build a new communication structure.” Due to safety issues, they won’t take violent aggressors or severe emotional problems that can’t be controlled by medication. Their primary service area is Southern California, so that the family can be geographically closer to the ranch for visits. Family contact consists of weekly telephone calls, monthly visits, and 6-8 home visits during their daughter’s stay at the ranch. Parental involvement and growth is required to accomplish the goal of “having the teenager at home as soon as possible.”

Each girl receives an accredited academic program designed to meet her specific needs. Performance is monitored and individual motivation plans are implemented to encourage successful completion of the academic program. Each girl is also required to participate in recreational and extracurricular activities.

The Ranch is located 24 miles east of Temecula, California on twenty-acres bordering the San Bernardino Forest. There are six acres of organic garden, over100 fruit trees, and a main house with seven bedrooms and three baths. The kitchen, dining room and classroom are located in a separate building. They are licensed through the Department of Social Services “Community Care Licensing.” The ranch is supported by donations from the families with daughters in the program, as well as through the sale of ranch crops and livestock, a petting zoo, pony rides as well as with donations from individuals, churches, businesses and grants.

The Gentle Spirit Ranch is operated by Mark & Virginia Bonacquista, and overseen by the California not-for-profit corporation they founded, called C-YAA in HEAVEN Ministries. This 501(3) corporation has a Board of Directors and Board of References that oversees all organizational expenditures. Mark & Virginia have worked with a variety of youth ministries, as well as a Christian program called Shelterwood, a one year residential treatment program for at risk teenagers.

PO Box 1671 | Bonners Ferry, ID 83805 | 208-267-5550
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