Teen Challenge of Southern California, Riverside, California

Night view of the city of Riverside
5445 Chicago Avenue
Riverside, CA, 92507

Teen Challenge Overview

Teen Challenge is an organization that focuses on the treatment of drug addiction in young boys and adult men and women. According to the official website, Teen Challenge is the world’s oldest, largest, and most successful program of its kind. It all started in 1958 when the 26-year-old Pentecostal preacher traveled to New York City to speak to seven gang members accused of murder about their salvation.
The first Teen Challenge center was opened in 1960 in New York, and since then it has become a major organization. More than 195 centers across the nation and 550 facilities worldwide speak about the significance of Teen Challenge and its major success. The organization operates ten regional facilities such as Central Valley, Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Kern County, Orange County, Ministry Institute, Ventura/Tri-County, Timothy House, San Diego County, and others. Last year, Teen Challenge served 200,000 men, women, and children through outreach and resident programs. The residential program created by Teen Challenge is one of the most successful substance abuse recovery and prevention problems of its kind.

Teen Challenge Housing

As seen above, Teen Challenge involves facilities at multiple locations. The exact structures and the number of rooms vary from one location to another. The organization has 530 beds, and patients stay in dorm-style rooms with twin bunk beds and bathrooms. Each room comes with dressers, each patient has their own, but closets are a shared space. All Teen Challenge locations have a chapel and communal areas where patients spend time together.

Teen Challenge Treatment Options

Teen Challenges offers various outreach programs and a one-year residential drug and alcohol recovery for men and women who are 18 or older. They also treat adolescent boys ages 12 to 17.
Residential treatment starts with entering into one of the organization’s induction centers for three months after which the patient spends other nine months in a long-term center. Prior to the treatment patients undergo a thorough assessment.
Detox services are not performance, but when there’s need for that treatment patients are referred to the off-site facility. Since programs offered by Teen Challenge aren’t clinical, they aren’t founded on evidence-based approaches. Instead, they’re rooted in Christian principles. The 12-step participation is not required because the program functions within a self-developed curriculum. Dual diagnosis support is not available because the staff isn’t exactly medically trained.

Teen Challenge Therapies Provided

Patients who are treated at Teen Challenge have individual and group therapy sessions. They also proceed to Christian Life School which focuses on Bible study, life skills, and GED classes. Christian Life School lasts approximately eight months. Due to the fact, the treatment is mainly faith-based it doesn’t offer some therapies that are available elsewhere.

Teen Challenge Payment Options

Unfortunately, the official website of Teen Challenge doesn’t provide information about payment options. Patients are instructed to contact one of the organization’s facilities for pricing information. Some Teen Challenge centers offer their services at no charge to the adult student, but others do.

Teen Challenge Licenses

Certifications Teen Challenge obtained aren’t revealed on the website. What we do know is that Teen Challenge is a member of ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability). The ECFA association represents evangelical Christian organizations across the country.

Teen Challenge Amenities

Although Teen Challenge practices are deeply rooted in faith, the organization offers a wide array of amenities that patients find beneficial. These include:

  • Christian discipleship classes
  • Individual advising sessions
  • Vocational training
  • Basic computer classes
  • GED certificate
  • High school diploma courses

Teen Challenge Staff

Staff members at Teen Challenge include mainly program alumni, life coaches, volunteers, and spiritual counselors. Many of them do not have formal psychiatric or medical accreditations but use their own experience to help others. The list of staff members who treat patients at Teen Challenge isn’t revealed nor are their biographies. The website features names of people who are in leadership roles. Here are some of those names.

Ron Brown

Ron Brown is an executive officer at Teen Challenge and its ten ministry locations. He is passionate about leadership development and encourages pastors and Christian leaders through conferences on a local, national, and international level.

Don Coley

Don Coley joined Teen Challenge as a chief administrative officer in December 2006. Some of his responsibilities include supervision of administrative staff, information technologies, insurance functions, among others. He has more than 35 years of experience in executive-level marketing and management.

Ruben Heredia

Ruben Heredia has been a part of the team at Teen Challenge since 2009. He works at a position of director.

Rose Weir

Rose Weir has been at Teen Challenge since the late 1980s. She worked as a teacher/adviser for many years. Rose uses her faith and vast experience to help patients at Teen Challenge.

Herlindo Salinas

Herlindo Salinas knows exactly what other patients are going through and understands them because he was once heavily involved in the world of drugs and crime. This lifestyle left him homeless, but he overcame his problems and his own experience to help others avoid the same scenario.

Tim Suk

When he was seven years old, Tim Suk came to the United States from Seoul. He grew up on the streets of Los Angeles where he was introduced to the world of gangs, drugs, and crime. In 1996, he entered Teen Challenge and completed a year-long program. Now, he’s a director at Orange County office where he oversees daily operations at recovery home.

Other Team Members

Besides the above-mentioned team members in leadership roles, other staff members include:

  • Kevin Mooney – director, Inland Empire
  • John Burns – director, Central Valley
  • Micah Hale – director, Ministry Institute

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