The women’s program of Rhode Island Teen Challenge is located in Providence, and is the only program for women under the Teen Challenge New England and New Jersey umbrella. This program was originally established back in 1994 and offers faith based treatment to women who are 18 and older in a residential setting.
Accommodations and Food
The women of Teen Challenge in Providence live in a large Victorian house that was formerly a funeral home. The residence is three stories and can accommodate about 12 clients in shared bedrooms. There are almost 8,000 square feet that include multiple double occupancy bedrooms and several full bathrooms. A large kitchen and dining room are on the main floor with classrooms on the bottom level. The facility also houses the administrative offices for this chapter.
All the food is provided for the clients and they take turns preparing meals for each other on a daily basis, utilizing the cooking lessons the facility provides for them.
Treatment and Staff
The faith-based treatment utilizes behavior modification techniques, as well as focusing on self-esteem and improving relationships. Many of the clients coming to the program have not only experienced drug and alcohol addiction but also some sort of abuse in their lives. The treatment addresses these past experiences and works to improve the clients self image and arm them with education and Christian principles.
The program is broken into phases, the first of which is approximately five months and mostly entails getting the clients familiar with what a Christian life entails. The remainder of the program, which usually lasts between 12 and 15 months, is incorporating these values into every day life and utilizing the lessons learned in the bible. There are volunteer efforts and community outreach programs the clients participate in, as well as working with one of the foundation’s businesses. These include a cleaning service, a call center answering questions about Teen Challenge, and the jewelry line that the women hand craft and then sell at malls, fundraisers and festivals. The funds raised for these businesses go directly back into the Providence facility.
There are no clinically trained staff members or therapists that are employed through Teen Challenge. Rather all employees were once clients of the programs themselves and opt to stay at the facilities longer so they can train to become spiritual counselors.
The clients have designated free time every day when they can go to the local YMCA or enjoy group outings to the beach or movie nights. There are also actives that occur on-site like barbecues or group softball games. The clients also participate and practice for the church choir, which is a requirement of the program and often travel to perform.
There is an overwhelming “Jesus Factor” associated with the programs at Teen Challenge, which can certainly turn some people off. However with a majority of the women participating in this program having experienced trauma or abuse of some sort, the program offers a sense of community they may crave. It may also contribute to the success rates of clients completing the program and staying sober at about 84 percent.
Teen Challenge Women’s Campus
572 Elmwood Ave
Providence, RI 02907
Rhode Island Teen Challenge Cost: $750 (30 days). Reach Rhode Island Teen Challenge by phone at (401) 467-2970. Find Rhode Island Teen Challenge on Facebook
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