Lansing Teen Challenge aims to revamp program

For nearly 60-years, the Teen Challenge program has provided thousands with drug and alcohol problems a place of shelter and solutions.

But as of Monday, officials at the affiliate here in Lansing, made the decision to re-locate nearly 50-people in the program.

There’s no issue too big… and no life too hopeless… that’s the motto of the Lansing Teen Challenge, a home right here in the city where men and women who are addicted to drugs and alcohol can get help.

But as of Monday afternoon, the center is no longer taking residents in.

“Mid-day I got this call and I thought what, I literally was blown out of the water,” says Lansing’s Director of Human Relations and Community Services, Joan Jackson Johnson.

Jackson Johnson says, she was shocked to learn that Lansing’s Teen Challenge center would close it’s doors due to a failed review of performance standards.

She says, nearly 50-people were under treatment there and had to be re-located to Teen Challenge centers in Detroit and Flint.

“When you take that step for treatment, and all the sudden the rug is pulled out from under you, I think that that’s really difficult,” says Jackson Johnson.

Jackson Johnson says, it’s also a loss to the city as people enrolled in the treatment program have been community volunteers, helping with seniors, mobile food pantries, and other service projects.

“They do an awful lot in our community to make Lansing a better place. Needless to say, with it closing and the uncertainty of when it’s going to re-open, it’s going to leave a huge gap in our community,” says Jackson Johnson.

According to Lansing Teen Challenge’s Board of Directors, the local program had been under review since October 2016, after it was unable to maintain standards in areas such as maintenance and reporting finances.

And while it’s closed for now, officials say, they hope it’s not permanent.

They’ve already appointed a new Executive Director and hope to re-open the Lansing location later this year.

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