I had personally known about Teen Challenge since I was a child. Over the years I visited several of its centers around the country and became very familiar with the great work that was being done through its faith based residential recovery program. In 2013, I became involved in an effort to open a Teen Challenge in mid-Missouri to help serve the needs of women and their children.
The Teen Challenge National Office is located in Ozark, Missouri, and supports the affiliation of local chapters by monitoring agreed-upon uniform accrediting standards and providing training and materials. Teen Challenge was founded by Rev. David Wilkerson in 1958 and has grown to more than 1,200 non-profit facilities in 92 countries with 240 centers in the United States. Currently there are only eight centers in the Teen Challenge USA network that offer a residence program where children are able to stay with the mother. In November of 2014 we accepted our first student at Primrose Hill.
Primrose Hill Teen Challenge addresses the unique needs of women, in particular, and assists in removing the barriers that often stand in the way of recovery for women. In addition, given that women are traditionally the caregivers in families, investing in a very specific recovery process that addresses the needs of women not only benefits the women themselves, but also their children, and communities as a whole. Primrose Hill Teen Challenge is a 12-month residential program that will allow children to remain with their mothers during the recovery process. This model helps remove potential barriers and empowers women to make changes necessary to remain drug free.
One of the core values of Teen Challenge is that every center has a work program where the students can learn the value of hard work as part of their recovery. In addition, the income earned helps offset the costs of the the services provided by Teen Challenge.
Primrose Hill offers a unique challenge in creating the right business enterprise since the students are all women and they are the caregivers for their children while in the program. This means their time is limited and needs to be tailored to something they can be passionate about. In August of 2015 we announced the Grand Opening of our micro-enterprise called Prim Goods.
Prim Goods was developed in an effort to further the vision of Primrose Hill Teen Challenge, to cultivate a positive work ethic, and help students become productive, healthy members of society. Prim Goods provides the students with a viable, sustainable skill set and in turn, the micro-enterprise will provide Teen Challenge with an income to help offset program expenses.
Prim Goods creates boutique-style products for mothers and babies, reinforcing the brand of Primrose Hill (catering to mothers and children). The purpose of the business is to give women at Primrose Hill the chance to learn business skills as they help create and run Prim Goods, learn responsibility and ownership over projects, and give confidence in their ability to work hard and be a part of a productive and effective business.
Prim Goods will also be a source of sustainable income for Primrose Hill. Part of the vision of Primrose Hill Teen Challenge is to provide not only a “holistic approach to recovery from life-controlling problems, but acquire a new value system that honors family, takes responsibility for community, cultivates a positive work ethic, and helps the women become productive, healthy members of society.”
Our plan is for Prim Goods to provide a steady and substantial funding base for Primrose Hill. Those who are in the non-profit business know the challenge of raising money for the causes we are passionate about. Many times we are dependent on events, donors and grants and those can be inconsistent at times. The majority of our sales will come through our website which will allow us to grow our business beyond local and regional borders.