Originally founded in Brooklyn, New York by Rev. David Wilkerson in 1958, Teen Challenge has helped many young adults struggling with drug addiction and gang affiliation find hope in Christ and transform their lives.
Along the way, we’ve found growth in Christ, as well. Today, we provide over 110 recovery centers across the United States and over 1,200 in 122 countries – making us the largest faith-based rehabilitation network in the world.
Sensing a need in the Greater Milwaukee community, the founders of our Adult & Teen Challenge programs began meeting in 1983. Led by the Holy Spirit, a faithful group of business leaders and ministers started our first adult residential program in 1989.
Over the next five years, we raised enough funds to purchase an old nursing home facility – which became our Men’s Center of Hope. This residential facility became a significant building block for the growth of our Milwaukee programs.
In 2002, Adult & Teen Challenge of Wisconsin obtained the used car lot next door to our Men’s Center. With this new addition, we began our Vehicle Donation Program, allowing our men the chance to learn marketable job skills. Car donations continue to help us raise operational income on a more consistent basis today.
Our Adult & Teen Challenge Women’s Residential Program began in 1999 with the repurposing of the former New Life for Girls Home located in Waukesha, WI. In 2001, a charitable donation by The Fleck Foundation provided us with a new building to house up to 30 women, giving us more space to grow. This new facility was named the Robby Dawson Home for Women.
God’s plan is clear, and we continue to find ways to add bed space to our growing women’s ministry.
Shortly after celebrating our 20th anniversary in 2003, Adult & Teen Challenge of Wisconsin worked with ministry development experts, BBS & Associates, to help guide our efforts and direct the long-term goals the Holy Spirit has placed on our hearts.
Our staff moved swiftly into action, improving all aspects of our adult residential rehabilitation programs over the next 10 years. Now nearing our 35th anniversary, we’ve received overwhelming support through financial gifts, donations, and most importantly prayer, which allowed us to open our Super Thrift Store in 2017. With this addition, we can provide work therapy training and skill development to our program participants.
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” – Jeremiah 29:12
Throughout the years, we’ve been tremendously blessed to be able to work with men and women struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. There’s still great work to be done and many people to reach.
We ask that you please keep Adult & Teen Challenge in your prayers as the Holy Spirit directs our programs and ministries into the future. Your support means the world to us.
“What a joy it was for me to be with you in Milwaukee. I appreciate all of your hard work. I want to tell you that I appreciate you being a man of God and a man of integrity. I work with many organizations all over the world (and many Teen Challenges), and it is refreshing to me to work with someone like you who has a heart for ministry and is a person who has learned to give to others.”
“Thank you for ministering the gifts of mercy and servanthood at our service last Sunday. Teen Challenge is truly a Good Samaritan’ ministry and very close to my – and Parklawn Assembly of God’s – heart and vision.”
“If you’re thinking that it’s not worth it – yeah, it is – when you buy it from Teen Challenge! If you don’t want it, buy it, and bring it again next year. Listening to statistics about Teen Challenge graduates, you don’t find that after six months they are out there doing the same old thing again.”
“Teen Challenge is the oldest one of the most effective ongoing programs of its kind in America. Not only does Teen Challenge help our young people deal with substance abuse, but it also gives our kids something to live for, a relationship with God, a healthy self-esteem – direction in their lives that finally leads somewhere.”
“When all is lost, there’s still one thing left, and that’s Teen Challenge…that’s why I’ve been committed to the program. I don’t think all hope is lost in life as long as people are willing to get together and do what it takes to do the right thing…”
“I’ve believed in this ministry since it’s very beginning, and I continue to support it. I consider it a real privilege to endorse this work. Thank God for Teen Challenge!”
“With the deterioration of society, Teen Challenge has become one of the most important arms of the church to this generation.”
“When I founded Teen Challenge 40 years ago, I had no idea that God would multiply this movement around the world! From the beginning, my vision has been to introduce troubled young people to Jesus Christ, and then get them back on the streets witnessing for the Lord. Today, God is raising up a mighty army of Spirit-filled soul-winners and evangelists – out of former drug addicts and gang members! But we must have help to continue. The problems we see today are much worse than what I encountered in New York in 1958. I pray you will stand with us in prayer and support.”
“To change people who have addictions like this, you cannot just do it by walking them through a program. You ultimately have to change what is in their heart to change what other actions they do. This is a program that has shown great success.”