Teen Challenge Canada: The cost of supporting men and women in drug & alcohol addiction

By Danae Ingram

Teen Challenge Canada continues to be a driving force in supporting hundreds of men and women seeking to overcome addiction across Canada. But unfortunately, it’s not an inexpensive process.

“Over the past five years, our caring donors have gone above and beyond to fund several capital expansion campaigns (three new centres and renovating two existing ones) while continuing to support our existing local program operations,” says the Teen Challenge Canada 2021 Impact Report.

1125 applications were made to the Teen Challenge Canada program in 2021 and 222 clients stepped through the doors of one of Teen Challenge Canada’s nationwide centres. That’s 43,639 hours in the classroom and 72,732 hours of work therapy within one year.

“As more men and women reach out to one of our nine Teen Challenge Canada Centres and make the difficult choice to seek help with their personal addictions, we need to continue to hire and train additional expert staff. Helping someone overcome addiction requires caring individuals with special skill sets to provide counselling, spiritual formation training, and other necessary daily care for our clients.”

Addiction rehabilitation is expensive, and the biggest challenge is raising the money to support the many men and women who need support right across our nation.

One of Teen Challenge Canada’s on-going fundraising campaigns is their Vehicle Donation Program, which amounted to 7% of financial support in 2021.

That 7% makes a huge difference when you consider the 1,682 vehicles that were donated. The funds raised by donating a car, minivan, or truck help keep Teen Challenge centres open nationwide, including the Eastern Ontario Men's Centre in Renfrew, which opened in 2021.

Raising awareness of the program continues to be an objective for many Teen Challenge Canada staff.

What is the cost of supporting each client in the Teen Challenge Canada 12-month, three-phase program (with two after-care phases adding up to 36 months total)?

80.7% of all funds raised go directly to client rehabilitation programming and administrative fees are kept low at 4.6%.

Programming costs include “Community Engagement,” which is Teen Challenge’s “on-the-ground, community-focused programming. It includes pre-admission counselling, family support, graduate aftercare, Celebrate Recovery support groups, and other addiction awareness events.”

Client fees are only $1,100 per person, and only make up 2% of the overall cost of the core program. The average monthly cost of one program bed is $4,600. This is why community support is so important. With zero funding from provincial and federal governments, Teen Challenge Canada relies solely on the generosity and support of community members and organizations.

You can make a difference!

Do you have a vehicle you don’t want or need?

Consider donating it to Teen Challenge Canada to support those recovering from addiction in your community. It doesn’t matter if it works, Teen Challenge will come and get it. All vehicle donations receive a fair market tax receipt, with a guaranteed minimum of $600.

If your old vehicle is ready to go to help change a life, go to www.donateyourcar.ca or call 1 (800) 856-8902.

To learn more about the ministry of Teen Challenge Canada, go to www.teenchallenge.ca.

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