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teen challenge

Teen Challenge is one of the oldest, largest and most successful programs of its kind in the world. Established in 1958 by David Wilkerson, Teen Challenge has grown to more than 170 centers in the United States. If you would like to know the story of how Teen Challenge started as told in the book "The Cross and the Switchblade," visit our store where you can order a copy of the book.

According to the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use, an estimated 7.7 million individuals age 12 or older were in need of care for an illicit drug problem. Furthermore, an estimated 18.6 million persons age 12 or older were in need of assistance for an alcohol problem. Teen Challenge has responded with action to statistics like these. Providing residential and non-residential care for thousands of men and women seeking freedom from life-controlling problems, Teen Challenge has become their answer.

In the process of breaking down the addiction cycle, Teen Challenge has become a solution to the addiction crisis. Teen Challenge is known throughout the world for providing successful recovery programs. Enthusiastic law enforcement officials, judges, mayors, governors and other prominent community and country leaders advocate the mission of Teen Challenge. Several United States presidents have voiced their appreciation for the unique work of Teen Challenge.

Teen Challenge is structured to allow flexibility in meeting the needs of those whose lives have been shattered by addictions. Where residential care is needed, Teen Challenge offers a well-developed, multi-phased discipleship training program. Teen Challenge also provides extensive non-residential assistance through personal and group sessions. Prevention programs are provided to thousands each year through public school assemblies and church meetings.

Teen Challenge has significant impact on local communities. By the time an individual enters Teen Challenge he has typically had almost every relationship and family tie shattered that might be helpful in recovery. He has usually formed strong relationships with people and groups that actually perpetuate the addiction spiral. After completing Teen Challenge, hope is restored to more than just the addict, but to the family as well. Solid, positive relationships within community and family are also re-established. Teen Challenge involvement in a community facilitates a reduction in drug-related crimes in the area. Prevention efforts within the community improve since recovered addicts exert a profound impact on family, friends, and community. The economic cost to society is reduced and restored men and women become contributors to their community. Teen Challenge even participates in community projects, outreaches, food bank services, correctional facility meetings, thrift stores and work projects. Many Teen Challenge programs offer assistance and referral services to the community.

Residential Program

Many of our centers offer a one-year residential program for adolescents and adults designed to help men and women learn how to live drug-free lives. During their 1-year stay, they do not hold down outside jobs, as all of their attention is focused on the program. We challenge the residents to embrace the Christian faith. We see that when they do, their lives are transformed and they find true meaning and purpose.

Residents follow strict rules and discipline. All residents adhere to a daily schedule which includes chapel, Bible classes and work assignments on or near the grounds. For information on Teen Challenge's curriculum visit the Teen Challenge Curriculum Page or contact us at or call (417) 862-6969.

While most of our centers are for adults, some do offer residential programs for teenagers. Please contact the Teen Challenge center nearest you to find out what services they offer.

To get information on a specific Teen Challenge center it is best to contact that center directly.