Located in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, The Robby Dawson Home for Women is part of the Teen Challenge residential treatment programs. The facility was opened by Sara White in 1999 and offers faith-based substance abuse treatment, vocational training and education to women who are 18 years and older.
Accommodations and Food
The Victorian style home is able to accommodate up to 30 women and located in the Concordia neighborhood of Milwaukee, a historic part of the downtown area. The multi-family, three-story home has 16 bedrooms and nine bathrooms that are shared amongst the clients. The common areas include a dining room, living room, kitchen and classrooms. The facility also includes staff offices and lecture rooms.
All the food is included and clients are served three meals a day. The food is prepared by the clients, who are all responsible for learning how to cook and maintaining the facility.
Treatment and Staff
The Robby Dawson program follows the Teen Challenge model, a two-phase system that revolves heavily around Christian-based ideals and Bible studies, along with work detail. The first phase of the program is usually between three to five months where the clients get acclimated to the culture of daily life within Teen Challenge. This includes daily Bible study, devotional, meditation and church services. During this initial phase, the clients take part in a group called Group Studies for New Christians—14 different classes aiming to create a foundation for leading a life free of drugs and alcohol. Clients learn Bible verses and also work individually with a teacher who also answers questions and offers guidance.
The second phase, known as the training phases, offers more in-depth Bible study and also provides money management classes, relapse prevention, GED and other adult educational and outreach opportunities.
The vocational aspect involves the women learning life skills such as cooking and cleaning, but also offers hands-on work experience including office work, auto repair and, in some cases, retail at the Teen Challenge Thrift Store. This is intended to help the clients not only learn new skills for when they leave the program, but also give them responsibility and accountability while in treatment
Clients who have a dual diagnosis are able to participate in this program and turn any previously prescribed medication over to staff to dole out but there is otherwise very limited support for co-occurring disorders since Robby Dawson does not employ any medical professionals. Also worth noting, detox cannot be facilitated on site and 12-step recovery is not implemented.
The staff of The Robby Dawson House typically aren’t addiction therapists but rather counselors based out of the local church affiliated with the program.
Clients participate in frequent sober outings, like movie nights, and play on a house softball team and sing in the church choir.
Teen Challenge’s The Robby Dawson House offer a faith-based program that is solely based on Christian values and teachings. Though these programs are highly structured, there aren’t any formal evidenced-based treatments offered, which could be seen as a potential caveat for some individuals. Still, this program and Teen Challenge at large have been successful for a large number of people who did find recovery here.
The Robby Dawson Home for Women
727 N 31st St
Milwaukee, WI 53208
The Robby Dawson Home for Women Cost: Housing is free, program is on a sliding scale. Reach The Robby Dawson Home for Women by phone at (414) 342-0909. Find The Robby Dawson House for Women on Facebook
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