About Heartland Girls' Ranch 

Heartland Girls' Ranch is located in Benson, MN approximately 150 miles from the Twin Cities and 30 miles west of Willmar, MN. Founded in 1992, HGR is licensed by the MN Department of Corrections to work with girls, ages 12-21 years of age; and on average, serves 60-70 girls each year. HGR is a residential group home that provides housing, supportive services, mental health support, equine and other therapeutic programming and a dedicated school for the girls in our program. Many girls referred to HGR are considered at-risk or have been already been victims of sexual exploitation, sexual /physical/verbal abuse and/or are dealing with a variety of emotional, behavioral and mental health challenges. HGR has capacity of 24 beds in the main facility and 10 beds in the Hearts For Freedom home for sexually exploited girls ages 12-17.

Our Mission Statement:  Heartland Girls’ Ranch provides strength-based, trauma-informed services and therapeutic equine programming in a safe and supportive environment that empowers girls to experience success and write a new story for themselves.

This signifies our commitment to providing a safe place for girls to experience success.  We know that success leads to self-discovery and self-worth.  HGR is a working ranch that utilizes horses as one of the innovative strategies to bring about healing in girls’ lives.  HGR provides holistic services based on best practices to meet the physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs of the girls in our care.

We Believe:

  • Each girl is courageous, resilient, valuable and full of potential.
  • Each girl deserves the opportunity to develop into the person she was created to be.
  • Growth involves healing, learning from the past, and developing skills for the future.
  • Together, we can help each other bring out the best in the girls we serve and each other.
  • In teaching and modeling healthy relationships.
  • In honest and ethical leadership.

Girls in Our Program

HGR provides long-term care for girls struggling with mental, emotional and behavioral challenges, as well as girls who have experienced trauma due to abuse and commercial sexual exploitation/trafficking. HGR referrals typically come from county social workers/probation officers and include; Delinquency, CHIPS, and Voluntary Placements. 

Each referral is considered on an individual basis for their situation and the current population of residents being served. HGR does accept residents who are known or suspected to be pregnant. HGR is unable to accept residents who are actively psychotic, actively suicidal, or who are a significant danger to themselves or others.

Some of the target areas of programming may include strategies to address:

  • Runaway
  • Truancy
  • Sexual Behaviors
  • Prostitution/Sex Trafficking
  • PTSD/Trauma
  • Chemical/Alcohol Use
  • Dependency/Attachment Problems
  • Authority
  • Healthy Boundaries
  • Self-Esteem
  • Family Issues
  • Grief

A specialized treatment plan is created with specific objectives for each resident. These goals cover a wide range of topics including education, behavior, attitudes, family and personal issues, health, recreation, social skills, future plans and employment. Average lengths of stay vary for each resident.

Learn More on our website.