Our Story

A Sum Greater Than Its Parts

Our Story

Great Circle was formed in 2009 by the merger of Boys & Girls Town of Missouri and Edgewood Children's Center. The goal was to create something new in the communities we serve, to help those struggling with difficult circumstances, and to be a partner in our communities to provide that resource. With campuses and community based services statewide, Great Circle’s footprint reaches across Missouri and Eastern Kansas. We reached the lives of 37,000 individuals, children and families in 2020.

Click here to watch a video celebrating 10 years as Great Circle.


2020 Great Circle expands services to include Eastern Kansas,
offering home visiting & support programs to strengthen area families.

2017 Ozark Family Resource Agency joins Great Circle,
with offices in Doniphan and Poplar Bluff.

2015 Butterfield Youth Services joins Great Circle,
establishing the Tom Butterfield Campus in Marshall, Missouri.

2014 Dietchman Leavell and Associates joins Great Circle,
expanding Great Circle’s continuum of care to include assessments and counseling services.

2010 Parenting Life Skills Center joins Great Circle,
adding parenting education and support programs to the agency’s growing spectrum of services.

2009  Great Circle is established,

as a behavioral health agency, making Great Circle a first step in addressing mental health issues rather than a last resort.

2009 Metropolitan School joins ECC,
welcoming high-school age students with social communication disorders to Edgewood School.

2005 Meramec Adventure Learning Ranch developed,
allowing thousands of children across the state to experience the wonder of the Great Outdoors.

2001 The Front Door in Columbia joins Boys & Girls Town,
and establishes itself as a significant partner in the Columbia and Central Missouri area.

2001 The Ozarks Family Resource Center is established in Springfield.
The first-of-its-kind crisis center allows siblings in crisis to stay together instead of being diverted to separate crisis facilities.

1998 Childhaven joins ECC,
bringing autism care services and expertise to the organization.

1994 Boys Town changes its name to Boys & Girls Town of Missouri (BGTM),
coinciding with the admittance of girls into the organization.

1989 Springfield Children’s Home, founded in 1894, joins Boys Town,
creating the Springfield campus.

1988 Boys Town opens St. Louis Center,
providing housing and community-based services for St. Louis children in need.

1978 Girls Industrial Home joins ECC,
bringing adolescent girls into the organization for the first time.

1949 Boys Town of Missouri founded by Lt. Bill James,
a World War II veteran who wanted to give back to his community upon returning from Europe.

1943 Name changed to Edgewood Children’s Center (ECC),
prompted by a request from the children as they wanted all children to feel welcome.

1869 Move to Webster College for Boys property,
providing a beautiful, safe new home environment for the children.

1832 St. Louis Orphan’s Asylum founded,
providing a safe haven for orphans of the cholera epidemic.