N.D. Teen Challenge kicks off campaign
By Brian L. Gray
North Dakota Teen Challenge, a faith-based drug and alcohol recovery center for adult men and women, has launched a $1 million campaign to raise funds for purchasing and renovating its building and making overdue repairs.
Since 2005 the organization has leased the 57,467-square-foot facility at 1406 Second St. N.W. in Mandan, which was originally the Heartview Foundation treatment center.
N.D. Teen Challenge was recently approached with an offer to buy the building for $500,000, which the organization has decided to do. The needed $1 million campaign will be used to not only purchase the building, but to renovate much of the building’s subpar infrastructure, which the organization has been trying to deal with for years.
“Our program requires students to live on the premises for 12 months, but the air conditioning and heating system are old and not dependable,” says Matt Voorhees, N.D. Teen Challenge executive director. “It’s hard to make difficult life changes – or even to sleep – when room temperatures are near freezing or approaching 100 degrees.”
The capital campaign funds will go towards purchasing the building, replacing the original heating and air conditioning systems, fixing the roof and making other facility repairs.
Voorhees says the campaign will run for one full year, and the organization is reaching out to receive donations from individuals, businesses and various churches across the state.
The campaign has been underway for one month now, and it has already raised about $65,000. “So far it’s going very well,” Voorhees says. “We really believe this can be done, and we can make this a possibility. This building is a landmark in Mandan, and we hope this campaign will help make sure it remains a beautiful one for years to come.”
North Dakota Teen Challenge is part an international program that has more than 1,000 facilities in 93 countries. It helps people recover from drug and alcohol problems through forming a close relationship with Jesus Christ.
The program began in 1958, and the first facility in North Dakota opened in Williston in 2004, which focused entirely as an alcohol and drug treatment recovery center for men. The need for this program grew quickly, and soon it became apparent that a new, larger treatment center was needed. One year later it moved to its current location Mandan, and in 2006 it began accepting women into the program.
Currently, the building is home to roughly 30 people aged 18 and older. At any given time, anywhere from 30 to 50 residents live at the treatment center. Voorhees says that with its current space, up to 70 people can be accommodated.
People who are suffering from addiction apply for the Teen Challenge program, and those who are admitted stay at the facility for one year. After the year of treatment, those who feel they are ready to return to society either leave or continue to stay at the facility for another six months as they gradually return to their everyday lives.
Voorhees says part of the funds raised will not only help to further the living conditions at Teen Challenge, but its living options as well. Those who live at the facility are able to see visitors, but they live away from their families during their treatment. Voorhees says he would like to see this change. He has future plans to accommodate living conditions for families to remain together while the center’s patients complete treatment.
“Something like this would certainly make things easier for those going through treatment here,” he says. “Some days are very hard for people here, and they definitely go through difficult days. But people are here for a reason, and no one is forced to be here.”