Daily Point of Light # 2240 Sep 4, 2002

Teen Challenge Illinois (TCI) provides many services to people who are struggling with life controlling problems such as alcohol and drug addiction. The also provide food, shelter, clothing, education, medical care, counseling and life, social and job skills. They have a 14-month character development program that strives to help people to develop character and personal values. TCI believes this will help the clients to become productive members of their community. Encouragement, counseling, education, family, community and spirituality are focusing for each of the participants in residence with TCI.

TCI has been providing healing for 41 years in the state of Illinois. Through street ministry and storefront fundraising, people are given a message of hope and testimonies of the possibilities that are available through the ministry. Thousands of individuals have found an answer to their suffering through the life-changing program provided by TCI.

An average of 500 individuals annually are provided services ranging from the 14-month residential program to referrals and phone counseling. In 2001 the Chicago facility alone fielded 5117 inquiries about the program, made 259 referrals to other Teen Challenge programs in the United States, made 238 referrals to other drug/alcohol rehabilitation centers and provided residential treatment in varying lengths to 140 individuals.

TCI is supported through contributions from individuals and churches. Many of the individuals are family and friends of TCI alumni who have seen the evidence of the program in a loved one or a friend. The success stories are numerous and shares in the TCI newsletter. In addition, TC choirs from Peoria’s Redemption House and Chicago’s center often share their stories of hope that they have as a result of treatment at TC to churches on the state.

Northwestern Illinois University completed a study that documented an 86% recovery rate for Teen Challenge completers. The research also found that “nearly all had escaped the revolving door phenomenon of substance abuse treatment.” In addition, they found that in comparison to completers of other programs, TC graduates are more likely to be employed one and two years later, living normal lives and needing no further drug treatment.

Drug treatment programs have been struggling for a method that succeeds to solve the problem for people bound by addictions. TC has found it and helped countless people. TCI is a timeless alternative to freedom from all life controlling problems using traditional treatment and also including the spiritual aspect of recovering from addiction.