David Wilkerson founded the first Teen Challenge Center in New York City in 1958. The Minnesota Teen Challenge was created in 1983, with adult services adding to what are now 10 campuses across Minnesota. One of its programs, Life Renewal, is a licensed chemical dependency program provides residential treatment for teens and adults aged 16 and over. The program is offered across four campuses in Minneapolis, with services available to women and men in the Twin Cities, Brainerd, Duluth and Rochester locations.
Accommodations and Food
Client numbers vary at each location, from 40 in Minneapolis, to 60 in the woods of Brainerd and 100 in Rochester. All together, over 600 clients are served. All accommodations are similar, combining residential and clinical needs in mostly secluded locations. Clients reside in dual-occupancy rooms that contain twin beds and closets. Furnishings are functional, simple and not frivolous, with clients expected to keep living spaces clean using a strict roster of chores.
Support staff prepares all meals, with clients assisting at various stages. Food is nutritious and home-style and while clients may bring snacks, they must be from an approved list. Caffeine, candy, weight-loss and muscle-building products are not allowed.
Treatment and Staff
Clients in the Life Renewal program remain in treatment typically from 14 to 90 days. Medically supervised detox is not available, though non-narcotic prescribed medications are allowed. Master’s-level licensed mental health professionals and practitioners, psychiatrists and psychologists offer dual diagnosis support through medication management and individual therapy. Individual sessions utilize Motivational Interviewing (MI) and CBT.
Though a faith-based track is available, treatment is not exclusively Christian and incorporates 12-step programs along with integrated mental and chemical health services. A typical day consists of 12-step meetings, related reading and writing; group therapy that focuses on healthy communication, anger management and relapse prevention; development of life and social skills. Clients attend individual therapy weekly, with LADCs offering additional support.
Clients must be over 16 and partake in a yearlong continuing care plan to officially complete treatment. These plans are created together with the client and consist of commitment to a 12-step program, Church or additional outpatient treatment.
For teens that have yet to graduate high school, academic courses are provided through Excel High School. These are accessible online at all hours and while flexible, are challenging. Teen clients can enroll in as many classes as feel manageable. Parents or guardians of underage clients are required to attend weekly family counseling and are given regular updates on their child’s progress.
Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge provides quality treatment across all programs ensuring psychiatric needs are not neglected. Combining therapeutic modalities allows teens and adults in the Life Renewal program to explore a faith-based approach if they like, or participate in traditional treatment.
Minnesota Teen and Adult Challenge Life Renewal Locations
1619 Portland Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404
2 East 2nd St
Duluth, MN 55404
2424 Business 371
Brainerd, MN 56401
1530 Assisi Dr
Rochester, MN 55901
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