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History

50 YEARS OF HISTORY

In 1958, Pastor David Wilkerson reached out to troubled street youth in New York City. Teen Challenge was created to meet the needs of these youths. This is how the ministry of Teen Challenge began and has spread literally around the world.

Today, Teen Challenge is a non-profit, interdenominational, faith-based program operating in 82 countries, with over 1,000 autonomous locations internationally, and continues to grow at a dramatic pace worldwide.

Approached by members of the local community because of our experience operating residential drug rehabilitation facilities, Teen Challenge opened the GTA Women’s Centre in 2008 to meet the needs of women struggling with addictions. This centre is Ontario’s first women-only centre. To date, the Women’s Centre has celebrated with two dozen graduates of our program.

The Teen Challenge story is told in the best-selling book and movie The Cross and the Switchblade.

David Wilkerson Outside Court Room - 1957 Wilkerson at Rally Wilkerson with Nicky Cruz David Wilkerson - 2009