The Teen Challenge ministry in Providence, Rhode Island was founded to heal young women and at-risk youth from the struggle of addiction. It is a faith-based program that taps into the restorative power of Jesus Christ, offering spiritual, academic and vocational training to give clients a new start. By applying biblical principles, the program endeavors to help its clients become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well and spiritually alive.
ABOUT TEEN CHALLENGE RHODE ISLAND
Teen Challenge is an international network of faith-based rehabilitation programs founded by the Reverend David Wilkerson in New York in 1958. The various Teen Challenge facilities run long-term, residential Christian discipleship programs for individuals struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol and other life-controlling problems. Located on a pretty, commercial street in southwestern Providence, Teen Challenge Rhode Island is a women’s residential center, offering support for women aged 18+. Residents are encouraged to attend detox before they arrive.
The parent branch of Teen Challenge Rhode Island, Teen Challenge New England and New Jersey, also operates centers inand
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
The program lasts 15 to 21 months, split into five phases, each of which lasts at least three months and possibly longer, depending on the individual’s progress.
Note, treatment at Teen Challenge is non-medical, and uses a discipleship model, meaning that the program is built in large part around Bible study, with a view to helping residents to develop the qualities of integrity, self-control, and compassion. However, unlike many other Teen Challenge branches, Teen Challenge New England and New Jersey also offers clinical counseling forsuch as bipolar disorder, PTSD, anxiety, and depression — though as noted below, the single alum of Teen Challenge Rhode Island polled by Best-rehabs.com to date cited the program’s restrictiveness as a weakness of the facility. The organization also provides life coaching.
In addition to helping its residents to overcome addiction by developing a relationship with God, Teen Challenge Rhode Island aims to provide its clients with life skills, for example by requiring each client to complete a GED or HiSet during their stay and by encouraging them to participate in a choir and drug outreach programs. Work therapy is a big part of treatment, too: residents participate in “micro enterprises and work projects,” thus gaining work experience and developing a strong work ethic. At the women’s center, work training opportunities take in jewelry-making, cooking, cleaning, working in a call center, and forming part of a drug outreach and awareness team.
Once they have graduated the year-long program, clients are eligible to sign up for an internship program that takes up to another year and sees them complete work experience at Teen Challenge. And for those clients who relapse after successfully completing the program, a six-month Restoration program is available.
The founder of the Rhode Island women’s program is a reverend who is herself in long-term recovery from addiction. The single alum polled by Best-rehabs.com to date gave the facility four out of five stars for its staff’s level of training and experience.
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
Residents live in a three-story Victorian home set on a half-acre corner lot, with plenty of businesses and amenities nearby. The single alum polled by Best-rehabs.com to date gave the facility five stars for its cleanliness, four stars for its meals/nutrition, and two stars for its exercise and leisure offerings.
Many medications are banned at Teen Challenge facilities, including psychotropic medications. In addition, residents’ contact with individuals outside of the program is strictly monitored, and all phone calls must be approved.
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
The single alum polled by Best-rehabs.com to date, D.O. would recommend Teen Challenge Rhode Island, and noted that she successfully achieved sobriety at the facility, though she added that the center’s strictness made for a difficult living environment, and that the program was somewhat restrictive, not allowing for, for instance, 12-step participation or other recovery programming. “While it was difficult to live in such a restrictive and only God type environment, it saved my life and taught me character, discipline, and many other skills I desperately lacked. The staff showed me love,” D.O. wrote, giving the facility five stars for its treatment effectiveness and its faith component, four stars for its family participation and ability to treat co-occurring disorders, and one star for its holistic offerings and counseling options.
The center had also received unanimously positive feedback on secondary sites at the time of this writing: five five-star ratings spread between Google and Facebook, where the facility can manage its own page.  “God is doing miracles in this place,” E.D.R. wrote in the only piece of accompanying commentary left in English.
Though some families make gifts to the facility, treatment is offered free of charge, paid for by Teen Challenge’s businesses, such as thrift stores, as well as by donations and fundraising.