Our Programs

Down Home Ranch is a working farm and ranch, where about 50 adults and children—including 39 with Down syndrome and other disabilities—live year round, caring for one another and for our 410 rolling, forested acres in Central Texas.

The Ranch began because a baby was born, a baby with the condition known as Down syndrome. Her parents learned quickly that this baby—like their other children—was first and foremost a person, worthy of love, friends, and the joys, sorrows and opportunities open to any other.

Inspired by the writings of Jean Vanier, Henri Nouwen, and Rudolf Steiner, Down Home Ranch was conceived as an intentional community, where people with and without disabilities would live and work together—tending the animals, raising our food and celebrating the seasons of life together.

We do not live in isolation at the Ranch. We have been welcomed into the communities that have flourished in our area for 150 years. The historical cemetery on our land speaks to us of days when Native Americans still camped out on our northern boundary and settlers arrived looking to a new life. Their descendants built the towns and businesses and churches, and among them we find today new friends, faith and opportunity.

The principal Program at Down Home Ranch is our Residential Program, which serves people with intellectual and development disabilities (IDDs) in a variety of ways:

The secret of L’Arche is relationship: meeting people, not through the filters of certitudes, ideologies, idealism or judgments, but heart to heart; listening to people with their pain, their joy, their hope, their history, listening to their heart beats.
– Jean Vanier, L’Arche founder