Teen Challenge Exposed!

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“It's all about the money”

Since: Jul 07

Clovis, CA

#1 Nov 1, 2007
A former Teen Challenge student exposes this abusive Christian alcohol and drug program. Although seen by many as a worthwhile organization, Teen Challenge has a dark side, one of pathological abuse and an obsession with the almighty dollar.

http://www.teenchallengeexposed.com
Grace4All

Rocky Mount, NC

#2 Nov 18, 2007
I have 2 sons who have gone through the Teen Challenge program. Before going they were both severely addicted to drugs and one of my sons was suicidial/homicidal. He had been in a mental hospital 3 times. The 2 Teen Challenges my sons went to were the greatest. They weren't easy, but there were never any horror stories. Both my boys are doing great! They are completely transformed and are now reaching out to other hurting people. Please don't judge all Teen Challenges by a few bad apples! There are some great ones out there. You just have to find them. Also, the person addicted REALLY has to WANT to be helped. My boys are better for going and are now an asset to society. A praise God for Teen Challenge. Through Christ, and the sacrifice of the Teen Challenge staff, the lives of my 2 sons were saved. The two they attended were Appalachian Teen Challenge in West Virginia and Sandhills Teen Challenge in North Carolina (which is a 4 month induction center) then after the first 4 months Sandhills transfers them to Rehrersburg, Pennsylvania. I have personally seen Teen Challenge and what they teach transform many, many hopeless lives. PLEASE, again, don't judge all Teen Challenges by a few bad ones. People's lives are truly at stake!
Jikki

Riverbank, CA

#3 Dec 9, 2007
"My boys are better for going and are now an asset to society."

I feel sorry for your sons. American society doesn't deserve them. I'm sorry they've changed, aside from the drugs, which are sometimes rather damaging.
Daniel Saunders

Stockton, CA

#4 Dec 19, 2007
I am a graduate of teen challenge and I am very grateful that they gave me the chance to get my life back.Living a Christian life is part of the answer "a big part". People are Loving and supportive in a number of different and at times unexpected ways.Not all people who go there end up making it but for those of us who do- Life has new meaning and a big part of that has to do with helping those see the light and to give them hope where there seems to be none.
searching

North Charleston, SC

#5 Jan 1, 2008
When your son went to PA how did it go? How long ago did they attend?
Grace4All wrote:
I have 2 sons who have gone through the Teen Challenge program. Before going they were both severely addicted to drugs and one of my sons was suicidial/homicidal. He had been in a mental hospital 3 times. The 2 Teen Challenges my sons went to were the greatest. They weren't easy, but there were never any horror stories. Both my boys are doing great! They are completely transformed and are now reaching out to other hurting people. Please don't judge all Teen Challenges by a few bad apples! There are some great ones out there. You just have to find them. Also, the person addicted REALLY has to WANT to be helped. My boys are better for going and are now an asset to society. A praise God for Teen Challenge. Through Christ, and the sacrifice of the Teen Challenge staff, the lives of my 2 sons were saved. The two they attended were Appalachian Teen Challenge in West Virginia and Sandhills Teen Challenge in North Carolina (which is a 4 month induction center) then after the first 4 months Sandhills transfers them to Rehrersburg, Pennsylvania. I have personally seen Teen Challenge and what they teach transform many, many hopeless lives. PLEASE, again, don't judge all Teen Challenges by a few bad ones. People's lives are truly at stake!
Mfraser

Bainbridge Island, WA

#6 Jan 3, 2008
I went to the adolescent teen challenge center in New Mexico 7 years ago. They don't have student who get food stamps or anything like that letter. They only collect money from the parents based on what they can afford. They accepted several students who had literally nothing- they brought their clothing in cardboard boxes. Their parents couldn't afford to pay anything-and one of those people was there for 2 years. I know they truly changed my life, and never mentioned money or giving to them to me ever!
AScotese

AOL

#7 Jan 10, 2008
It is fairly evident that you are hoping to write a book on your experiences.
You are maligning a fine organization, one who has stepped in to save the unsalvageable and given hope to the hopeless. If some other form of treatment had worked for these boys and men, there'd have been no need for them to come to Teen Challenge. Obviously, at least in some cases, it is a last resort. You implied as much when you said in your post that many of its residents come straight from jail or the courts.
Which prompts me to address another of your grievances, this one having to do with the residents being asked to "turn over their food stamps." Well, tell me now, what need would these men have for them anyway? They are receiving their meals from Teen Challenge as well as room and board and low-cost to absolutely free encouragement to stay sober and drug free. But you seem to feel as though everything should be given, even the food stamps that the residents don't need anyway.
[/In 2 Thessalonians 3:10 it says, "If a man will not work, let him not eat."QUOTE).
I dare say you have the jailbird mentality - that somehow you are entitled to the 3 squares and a cot and that the only thing expected of you is for you to just show up - and then write a book critiquing your benefactors.
There are precious free organizations in the United States that can attest to even a moderate "recovery rate." Teen Challenge takes no credit for turning lives around as the glory goes to God. For those that aren't aware, Teen Challenge was founded by David Wilkerson, the author of "The Cross and the Switchblade." He is the pastor of a church in Times Square, NYC, that ministers to a denomination whose members come from many different walks of life.
If there is anyone who is exploitative, it is the writer of the "Teen Challenge: Exposed" post.
You should be on your knees thanking your "higher power" that someone hadn't given up on you and that you were given another chance. It seems you did somehow survive your ordeal to an extent that you were capable of sitting down and composing a cohesive, intelligently-written post(albeit one containing biased, possibly self-serving and dubious claims).
AScotese

AOL

#8 Jan 10, 2008
I suspect there were residents who wished to keep their food stamps so that they could sell them. This is a "get over" mentality and the fact that the author of the "Teen Challenge Exposed" tome even mentioned his displeasure with the practice of giving up his food stamps says more about him than it does about his hosts (Teen Challenge, CA).

He also admits that he was told to do "one year" and that's what he did. Who ordered him to do this one year at TC? The Courts? I would imagine this is the case.

But just look at him now! He is now taking journalism classes and, having been asked to write an "assignment," just consider what he has chosen for his topic. He is writing because some of the former residents asked him to do this; he is writing this expose' as a way of keeping his promise to these people.

I don't think it's yet very clear to this man that if not for Teen Challenge he might still be grappling with the chains of addiction or worse.

At the very least, Teen Challenge gave him something to talk about and an intriguing subject matter on which to write. It's just unfortunate that instead of taking a journalist's objective approach, he elected to write an expose'.
thankful in mi

Muskegon, MI

#9 Jan 20, 2008
TC changed my life and saved my life almost 20 years ago. It was nothing like you described it. It was full of LOVE and HELP> It was`also free.If anyone needs help, God uses it to turn lives around.
TJTJ

Grand Rapids, MI

#10 Jan 23, 2008
I attended West Mi TC for 11 months to the day.
If it was the last place to go, I would NOT go back. It is not what they advertise, boarderline criminal and fraudulant.
No job training, no church membership once you graduate, no skills no sobriety skills nothing.
The staff and McClain are wacked, the worst of all "Pastor Sam". I wouldn't let him counsel my dog.
The so called pastors there are the mail order type, no outside training, no couseling training nothing but TC brainwashing. That's why they have to stay there.
If you are looking to stay sober go to AA, NA etc. These are proven, reliable programs and have worked for me.
I tracked Muskegon TC's success rate when I was there. They have a graduation rate of less than 10% and a sobriety rate of less than 2%. Ask them to give you details of "their" success study they so quickly quote. They will not give you any details.
They have alarms on the doors and windows to keep you in. Check with the local police dept. They will tell you the truth.
Please do your homework before sending yourself or anyone else there.
TJTJ

Grand Rapids, MI

#11 Jan 23, 2008
If you would like the "Truth" from experience about Western Michigan Teen Challenge you can contact me at tj.1001@hotmail.com.
I will answer your questions truthfully. I am also in contact with others in the area who have gone through TC.
Cheryl

Blue Bell, PA

#12 Feb 17, 2008
I am a 1998 graduate of Fort Worth Teen Challenge. I observed and received nothing but love and teaching from FWTC. I have kept in touch with the ministry since graduating ten years ago. I think it is terrible that anyone would say something negative about this organization.
mfraser

Houston, TX

#13 May 14, 2008
I've heard nothing but good things about teen challenge new mexico. Would you possibly have any of their admission forms, code of conduct book, or a handbook or anything from back then? I am very interested. thank you
Mfraser wrote:
I went to the adolescent teen challenge center in New Mexico 7 years ago. They don't have student who get food stamps or anything like that letter. They only collect money from the parents based on what they can afford. They accepted several students who had literally nothing- they brought their clothing in cardboard boxes. Their parents couldn't afford to pay anything-and one of those people was there for 2 years. I know they truly changed my life, and never mentioned money or giving to them to me ever!
Deb

Glenside, PA

#14 May 27, 2008
Anyone out there who has attended or sent a daughter to the Teen Challenge in Roanke, Va? Our 16 yr old daughter is struggling with bad life choices and has wound up on probation. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and God Bless.
Kleyva

Stamford, CT

#15 Jul 22, 2008
I too went to Teen Challenge of New Mexico. It is abusive and brain washing. Although I am a contribute to society the experience has scared me. Cleaning dumpsters with a toothbrush, both trailers are mice infested, gifts are not accepted from family unless they contribute. It is a mess over there. I am in contact with not one but SEVEN girls some graduates some not that all share horrible experiences. Final thought, if your work is not satisfactory to the director it you will stay for at least three years. That time leaves a younge girl or boy unprepared for real life and afraid to speak a mind of there own.
Mfraser wrote:
I went to the adolescent teen challenge center in New Mexico 7 years ago. They don't have student who get food stamps or anything like that letter. They only collect money from the parents based on what they can afford. They accepted several students who had literally nothing- they brought their clothing in cardboard boxes. Their parents couldn't afford to pay anything-and one of those people was there for 2 years. I know they truly changed my life, and never mentioned money or giving to them to me ever!
croloff

Orangevale, CA

#16 Jul 22, 2008
I also went to Teen Challenge of New Mexico. I completely agree with Kleyva. I not only attended the school but I was brain washed into working as a staff member for over 2 years after I graduated. I learned how to clean out freezers and dumpsters, but I didn't learn a thing about the real world. The overall character of the staff is totally based on money. The directors live in a beautiful 2 story house while the girls live in an old house with run down cars and have to take 3 minute showers even after cleaning out a mouse infested dumpster. They don't even allow you to look out of the windows or watch anything other than FOX News. They also influence you to ONLY vote republican.
After spending almost 5 years of my life there I later found out that my "High School Diploma" is not a real diploma. Teen Challenge is not a credited school. Of the 5 years I was there, only 3 girls were tested at a high school level for A.C.E. The rest of the girls (over 200) were tested at a 2nd grade level and made to "graduate" with a FAKE vocational diploma. Teen Challenge of New Mexico is the biggest manipulating and brain washing cult I have ever known.
mfraser1985

Lakewood, WA

#17 Sep 6, 2008
Well, I know for sure of girls when I was there whose parents gave no contribution. I was there about seven years ago also- My name is Mary. I was a skinny white girl with Brown hair-I might know you!
mfraser1985

Lakewood, WA

#18 Sep 6, 2008
mfraser wrote:
I've heard nothing but good things about teen challenge new mexico. Would you possibly have any of their admission forms, code of conduct book, or a handbook or anything from back then? I am very interested. thank you<quoted text>
I don't, but you can go to teenchallengeofnewmexico.com and find there # there
lxphoenix new mexico

AOL

#19 Sep 20, 2008
Teen Challenge Exposed wrote:
A former Teen Challenge student exposes this abusive Christian alcohol and drug program. Although seen by many as a worthwhile organization, Teen Challenge has a dark side, one of pathological abuse and an obsession with the almighty dollar.
http://www.teenchallengeexposed.com
I have visited Teen Challenge of New Mexico. I know the couple who have dedicated their lives to helping teens release the grip of gangs/drugs/sexual-physical abuse and help these teens UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS TO HAVE A HEALTHY LIFE.

These are hard teens, many with criminal records, not the occasional over-indulged teenager...

It does take money to make a difference, to pay for electricity, food, clothing, the computer lab,vehicles& fuel for transportation, medical bills,housing repairs, college preparation courses, books.....

I have been to the Teen Challenge location..it is not an elite resort, the money goes into the teens...it goes to them to help them.

The teens have to earn credits based on their growth of responsibility and conduct.

The girls learn how to install plumbing in their bathroom that was leaking and was in disrepair, as well as cook 3 meals a day in the shared housing, clean, do laundry and pursue contracts of conduct, responsibility,schoolastic courses and they study the bible.

The money does not buy them drugs nor does it caudle the teens...it gives them necessary life skills in order to return to society and function with a clear mind, a new and better life and a heart to knows and loves God.

What is sooo bad about that?
lxphoenix new mexico

AOL

#20 Sep 20, 2008
I live in Albuquerque. Our city is rated one of the most violent in the United States.

It is a beautiful city but the crime is not.

The couple who run Teen Challenge should be commended not berated.

They fight a never ending battle for the teens
who are there as a last resort before they end up
locked away for life or lose their life.

Everyday "this couple" wakes up and faces a "flip society" that can not understand how valuable our lives are;

This couple has picked up and taken the responsibility for these teens...where many people left off or could not help these kids.

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