January 20, 2006 Volume 19, Number 21
Teen Challenge comes to
By Diane Trail | Atlantic Correspondent
MONCTON, NBTeen Challenge, a Christian drug rehabilitation centre for men with life-controlling drug and alcohol problems, will open its first centre in Atlantic Canada.
"We take a broken man and make a whole man, able to be employed and pay taxes," says Teen Challenge Atlantic director Dan Morand. "It's really a 'restoration' centre, not rehab. We only accept men 'at the bottom' who want their life back. The Lord changes the heart. I just want to bring one more guy to Christ."
The promise of changed lives has been Teen Challenge's business for decades. It has a documented "cure rate" of more than 70 per cent.
Teen Challenge offers men with substance abuse problems a 12-month program of spiritual, academic and vocational training. Everything in the program is highly structuredfrom getting up in the morning to chapel and Christian studies; from work detail in the afternoon to counselling sessions and lights out. Sometimes there is limited family contact while in other situations weekend passes are allowed.
But despite Teen Challenge's success rate, not everyone is eager to have a Teen Challenge centre in their neighbourhood. It took two years of concerted effort to find a suitable place in Atlantic Canada to establish Teen Challenge Atlantic. The organization was turned away from two properties in Newfoundland where local people were opposed to rezoning. Morand even received arson threats.
However, Teen Challenge has now purchased a former monastery on 18 acres of land in Memramcook, near Moncton, New Brunswick, with no opposition from the community. Morand is hopeful that the 25-bed facility will be operational by April.
He estimates it will cost a half-million dollars to get the full project running. It costs $30,000 for each individual per year.
The need is great. Morand says he has referred 18 men to Teen Challenge's London, Ontario facility since coming on board in Atlantic Canada.
Teen Challenge national director George Glover also says there has been explosive growth in the need for drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities. "We have 100 on the waiting list in London," says Glover. "Most of our facilities are full and have a waiting list."
David Wilkerson, a former street preacher, founded Teen Challenge in the late 1950s when he established the first centre to treat addictions in Brooklyn, New York. Teen Challenge now has more than 600 locations worldwide, operating in 82 countries."