With students, staff and board members looking on Tuesday morning, Teen Challenge of the Four States unveiled the new senior staff-housing unit.
Area business leaders and members of the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce toured the house.
"It was a big need for us," said Rev. Jim Lowans, executive director of the center. "Many of our senior staff were living in the Teen Challenge building. They had their own room but they were around the students all of the time. This just gives them a place that they can go and have their own private quarters. It is just a little one bedroom facility but it has a nice living room, kitchen, bathroom and laundry room and it just provides adequate for them."
The new staffing center is a 1,000-square-foot facility and has two identical sides, making it 500-square-feet each. The building project began in the spring of 2012 and was done by volunteers.
Currently, there are three people living in the house – a husband and wife, Todd and Angela VanWinkle, where Todd is the work experience supervisor — and staff member Janie Rogers, who is the center's chef and oversees the kitchen facility.
"The guys who graduate from the program and then come right here to work, they stay in the center with the guys," Lowans said. "They have a separate room, but once they have been here at least six months or so, if we have staff housing available, then we will move them into the staff housing."
Lowans said they do have a goal in mind for expansion.
"Our ultimate goal, if we build the second one, then when we have other staff, for instance, we have a couple of guys now that theoretically in another six months or so, would be eligible to move into the staff housing," he said. "We are very excited for it to be completed."
About Teen Challenge
Nationally, Teen Challenge started in 1958 as a preacher with a mission to convert gang members found a new mission in giving them a place to restart their lives. Today, the organization helps residents overcome addictions through its 14-to-16 month program.