Fundraiser brings local drug treatment organization closer to goal

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 | 6:29 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Teen Challenge of Central Missouri hosted a fundraising breakfast Tuesday morning for a treatment home that would house women who struggle with addiction and their children. 

About 60 members of Columbia’s business and political communities attended the breakfast, including Mayor Bob McDavid, Third Ward Councilman Gary Kespohl and State Rep. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, said Rick Rowden, director of project development for the organization. 

The week before the event, a donor promised to match up to $10,000 earned there. Rick Rowden said the organization had not yet counted the proceeds from the event.

After launching in May, the organization held a fundraiser that brought in $40,000. Rick Rowden said the organization hopes to raise $200,000 by the end of June. 

By the end of the year, the organization hopes to buy land and build a facility big enough for 20 families, he said. In the meantime, it will try to set up a temporary home for four to five families.

Teen Challenge is a faith-based recovery program headquartered in Ozark with more that 250 centers across the United States. Only five of those centers host mothers and their children, according to a news release from the organization.

The local branch hopes to offer a 12- to 14-month program for mothers who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Mothers and their children would work with therapists one on one and as a family. 

“A lot of places treat the individual, but specifically, this focuses on the family and the impact on the child,” said Heidi Fuhrman, a member of the organization's advisory committee.

Teen Challenge centers also run small businesses called micro-enterprises to teach students work skills that help them get jobs, Rick Rowden said.

Fuhrman gained a passion for drug treatment after working for a similar home in St. Louis.

“Working with people whose lives are caught up in addiction and helping them get to the other side makes you all the more hungry to help that happen for other people,” Fuhrman said.

Supervising editor is Katherine Reed.

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