Teen Challenge Alberta Men’s Centre needs $1.3 million to complete a $5.5 million expansion at it’s facility near Priddis.
Construction started about 18 months ago on two buildings. The ranch house will host office space, classrooms, a commercial kitchen and dining hall. The bunk house is for the 24 students struggling with addiction to take part in the program. That’s double its current capacity.
The centre's director Greg Cornelsen said the facility has managed to some raise money since January.
"Even though COVID-19 and the downturn in the economy we’ve still been able to raise an additional $250,000 which we are grateful for," he said.
The two buildings look finished from the outside but they still need a lot of work. They’re weather tight and electricians and plumbers are finishing up their work along with the building’s heat and cooling specialists so the framed walls and ceiling can be covered with drywall.
"If we had that money today, that $1.3 (million), we would be able to move in January (or) February of 2021."
Teen Challenge is a 12-month in-residence drug and alcohol rehabilitation program that offers help and hope to addicts from age 18 to 65. It’s been in operation for almost 30 years. The year-long treatment program costs the individual $1,000 and the rest of the $60,000-treatment is covered through donations.
Because of the pandemic, the facility is only running at half capacity with six students, according to events coordinator Loa Cornelsen.
"We are getting many calls everyday from a parent usually," said Cornelsen. "(We) just had a call from a mother who was heartbroken that there’s a waiting list and that’s their big question – 'How soon can I get my son or my husband in?'"
Currently the operation is operating out of an old farm house and trailer but the new buildings can be seen out the windows. Cornelsen says it’s frustrating they can’t move in.
"Unfortunately we have to tell (family members), 'I’m sorry because of COVID-19, we are unable to take any more students right now. Wwe are at capacity,'" said Cornelsen. "Now if we had our new building, that wouldn’t be a problem."
Facilitators are hoping to open the centre without any debt and are looking to their church partners to see if they would be willing to help with the final push of $386,000 for the bunk house and $721,000 for the ranch house to finish this project.
You can learn more about Teen Challenge Alberta Men’s Centre and it’s newest operations fundraiser Virtual Freedom Run online.