Couple rising to challenge of helping teens get clean.Byline: Jeff Wright Jeff Wright can refer to:
SPRINGFIELD - As a youth pastor in Lebanon, Ore., for eight years, Greg Pitts tried to connect with teens as best he could. He watched many of them grow up from elementary to high school, and even officiated at three of their weddings.
"But I also saw a huge number of them turn to alcohol and drugs and drop out of school," he says. "Working with them for one hour every Wednesday night was just not enough."
Today, Pitts is hard at work realizing a dream - creating a residential treatment center A residential treatment center, often referred to by the acronym RTC, is a live-in therapy/behavior modification facility for adolescents who suffer from a variety of emotional conditions, ranging from drug abuse to violence to sexual behavioral problems. where drug-addicted teens can spend a full year in search of sobriety, support and self-confidence, 24 hours a day.
The boarding school that Pitts has in mind, however, would not follow the traditional "medical model" that views alcoholism and drug addiction drug addiction
or chemical dependency
Physical and/or psychological dependency on a psychoactive (mind-altering) substance (e.g., alcohol, narcotics, nicotine), defined as continued use despite knowing that the substance causes harm. as a disease. Instead, Pitts foresees a Northwest Adolescent Boys' Center that views addiction as a surmountable sur·mount
tr.v. sur·mount·ed, sur·mount·ing, sur·mounts
1. To overcome (an obstacle, for example); conquer.
2. To ascend to the top of; climb.
a. To place something above; top. sin.
Toward that end, Pitts and his wife, LeAnna, have opened the Teen Challenge Teen Challenge is an evangelical Christian recovery program and a network of Christian social and evangelizing work centers. It is a 12-18 month program that serves drug addicts, alcoholics, gang members, prostitutes and people with life-controlling problems. Thrift Store, a 4,400-square-foot space just off Springfield's Mohawk Boulevard next to Bi-Mart. The store, established as a fundraiser for Teen Challenge operations, eventually will serve as a workplace for many of the 20 to 40 youths that the Pittses hope will be enrolled in the state-licensed center.
Teen Challenge already operates 185 residential treatment centers in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. and 370 others around the world. Despite the "teen" in its name, however, most of those centers are oriented toward adults. The Pacific Northwest, for example, has 10 Teen Challenge treatment centers, but none for teens.
Greg Pitts, 35, says he gets two to three calls a week from frantic relatives asking about getting a young, drug-addled family member into treatment. "We refer them to our juvenile centers in Minnesota or New Mexico New Mexico, state in the SW United States. At its northwestern corner are the so-called Four Corners, where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet at right angles; New Mexico is also bordered by Oklahoma (NE), Texas (E, S), and Mexico (S). or Florida," he says. "Our nearest one is in west Nevada, but it's always full."
The juvenile centers charge tuition - typically $1,000 to $2,000 a month - and expect residents to take part in thrift store or other work, but pride themselves on not turning anyone away for lack of funds, Pitts says.
Nationally, Teen Challenge has won both praise and criticism for its faith-based approach to overcoming addiction. More than 2,000 people - nearly half of whom have been ordered by a court to attend - graduate from the network's one-year residential recovery programs each year.
Teen Challenge supporters include President Bush and, closer to home, retired Springfield police Chief Bill DeForrest, who said in a letter to Pitts that he has no confidence "in traditional government and most private rehabilitation programs Noun 1. rehabilitation program - a program for restoring someone to good health
program, programme - a system of projects or services intended to meet a public need; "he proposed an elaborate program of public works"; "working mothers rely on the day care ."
By contrast, DeForrest said he met several Teen Challenge graduates at an Arizona church and came away impressed with their sincerity and their "physical, emotional and spiritual health."
Greg Pitts said he grew up among family members who abused methamphetamine, including one relative who was a dealer. He says he is convinced that the Teen Challenge model works because of the duration of its residency and because of its unapologetic message that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ Jesus Christ: see Jesus.
40 days after Resurrection, ascended into heaven. [N.T.: Acts 1:1–11]
See : Ascension
kind to the poor, forgiving to the sinful. [N.T. is key to overcoming addiction.
"We can't force someone to believe - that would be silly," he says. "We're just doing what we're doing, and we see this pendulum swing in people's lives."
Teen Challenge claims success rates of between 65 percent and 85 percent, citing studies conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is a United States federal-government research institute whose mission is to "lead the Nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction. and others. The studies are small and dated, however, and the organization is conducting a new, nationwide survey.
Teen Challenge was established in 1958 by Pastor David Wilkerson, the author of "The Cross and the Switchblade." The 1962 best-seller, which recounts Wilkerson's work with young New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of drug addicts, has sold more than 50 million copies and was made into a movie.
Based in Springfield, Mo., Teen Challenge USA is led by Mike Hodges - LeAnna Pitts' father. LeAnna Pitts, who serves as the local thrift store's manager, says her father is the one who challenged her and her husband to open the first Teen Challenge teen treatment center in Oregon.
They say they are actively looking at potential sites, in Cottage Grove Cottage Grove, village (1990 pop. 22,935), Washington co., SE Minn., near the St. Croix River; inc. 1965. There is farming (cattle, sheep, corn, and soybeans) and manufacturing (chemicals and machinery). and elsewhere, and are confident of securing property within the next six months. Teen Challenge's regional office in Lebanon has offered to put up an undisclosed sum to help buy the property, they say.
In the meantime Adv. 1. in the meantime - during the intervening time; "meanwhile I will not think about the problem"; "meantime he was attentive to his other interests"; "in the meantime the police were notified"
meantime, meanwhile , they keep busy with the thrift store, sorting, pricing and selling donated goods - and correcting the misimpressions of shoppers who wrongly assume that the store is either run by teens or offers wares oriented toward teens.
They are assisted by multiple volunteers and five part-time employees - including Greg Pitts' nephew, Kyle Pitts. Out of jail after serving a sentence for driving under the influence, Kyle Pitts, 23, is a Teen Challenge graduate now enrolled at Eugene Bible College A Bible college is an institution of higher education in which the course of study specializes in biblical studies. This curriculum differs from the focus on academic programs of Christian liberal arts colleges or research universities, which may include, but are not limited to, . He also is a husband - he and his wife met at a Teen Challenge thrift store in Tillamook - and father to a 6-month-old daughter.
Kyle Pitts says he likes the feeling of giving back by helping out at the store. "I feel I owe a big part of my life to Teen Challenge," he says. "For one thing, I wouldn't have this wife or daughter, which I appreciate a lot."
TEEN CHALLENGE Thrift store: 1489 Mohawk Blvd., Springfield, next to Bi-Mart. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday. Donations accepted during store hours. 726-5454 Treatment center: Donation of funds can be dropped off at thrift store or mailed to Northwest Adolescent Boys' Program, P.O. Box 70172, Eugene, OR 97401 Informational booth: Look for it from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday in front of Market of Choice, 1060 Green Acres Green Acre is a conference facility in Eliot, Maine, in the United States. It was founded by Sarah Farmer in 1894.
After Sarah Farmer became a Bahá'í in 1900, many Bahá'í speakers were invited, including Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl in 1903, `Abdu'l-Bahá in 1912 and Mírzá Road, Eugene More information: Call 726-5454; send e-mail to email@example.com; visit www.nwaboyscenter.com or www.teenchallenge.com