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Wednesday, 19 August 2015 11:14

SPARK THE COMMUNITY: Teen Challenge Brockton Breaks Addiction and Restores Spirits Through Hard Work and Outreach Featured

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By: Emily J. Reynolds


BROCKTON -- Teen Challenge Brockton has been serving the community for almost 50 years.

         As part of the Teen Challenge New England & New Jersey organization, Teen Challenge Brockton’s mission is rescuing and restoring men -- 18 years and older -- from drug and alcohol addiction through a faith-based recovery program. The 15-month residential program is structured around spiritual, academic, and vocational training. The only qualification for entry is a stated personal desire to change.

    Since opening its doors, Teen Challenge Brockton has never turned a single person away. Staff members have given up their beds and multiple people have shared a single room – whatever it took to ensure that any man who said he wanted to change was accepted into the program.

     Teen Challenge Brockton currently has 63 students and follows a strict schedule of prayer, breakfast, schoolwork, work in the community, dinner, prayer, shower, devotions, and homework. The community work builds on the talents each resident brings to the program and teaches additional life skills: everything from customer service to catering to moving furniture to carpentry. This also provides a range of services to the community and is a way for residents to give back.


         “It was good to work – I didn’t want to feel like someone was feeding me and housing me for free,” said Sean Merrill, a recent Teen Challenge Brockton graduate who has stayed on as an intern.


         Before entering Teen Challenge Brockton, Merrill went to eight rehabilitation programs to try to break his addiction to pills and heroin and had all but given up hope.


         “When I walked through the doors at Teen Challenge, Pastor Barry said to me ‘Welcome home,’” Merrill recalled. “I had never heard ‘welcome home’ at any of the other rehabs I had gone to… I surrendered.”


         Pastor Barry (Rev. Barron Baugh) is an Outreach Chaplain with Teen Challenge Brockton and, during the group’s weekly outreach trip to bring hot breakfast to Perkins Park on Tuesday, he encouraged those who need help to get it.


         “Get it right today,” he said with strong conviction. “Tomorrow’s not promised.”


 According to the organization’s website: Teen Challenge is one of the oldest, largest and most successful drug recovery programs of its kind in the world. It serves individuals and families by providing Christian faith-based residential recovery homes for more than 400 adults, and outreach and drug prevention programs to children and youth in area schools and local communities.


 *Additional reporting by Rob Terranova


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