November 24, 2017

Dare Challenge to expand drug recovery program
Outer Banks Sentinel

With the unanimous approval of a requested zoning text amendment by the Dare Board of Commissioners at its Nov. 20 meeting, the Outer Banks Dare Challenge drug recovery program is set to expand to meet the growing demand for treatment.

Put simply, the change allows the Wanchese-based residential recovery and treatment center to be housed in several structures on one parcel of land.

"They have plans to expand their facilities there," Dare County Planning Director Donna Creef noted in a brief presentation. "And in order to do so, the language really needs to be amended so that they can have multiple structures." She added that the Dare Planning Board recommended favorable action on the amendment.

Dare Challenge Site Director Doug Henriott told the Sentinel the center is planning to buy the property next door to construct a multi-use building on it and meet the area's acute need for drug treatment by enabling the center to increase the number of men — students and staff — who can stay at the center from the current maximum of 14 to 24.

Henriott added that the center is in the midst of a fundraising campaign to pay off the remaining mortgage debt owed on the current building and pave the way for buying the adjacent property.

 Dare Challenge is the Outer Banks' center of the Teen Challenge program. Now a worldwide ministry, with 1,100 programs in 110 countries and reporting a recovery rate of more than 84% among those who complete the program, Teen

Wilkerson chronicled the founding of Teen Challenge in answer to a call to help gang members in New York City in his book, The Cross and the Switchblade.

The ministry rented its current building until 2012, then obtained a mortgage and purchased the property. This past August, an unidentified local business owner made a $100,000 donation, reducing the remaining mortgage to $34,000. With additional donations since, the amount now owed on the building is about $7,000.

"That same generous individual who contributed one hundred thousand dollars has offered to match all donations for the rest of this year," Henriott said. All donations are tax deductible, and all funds raised above the amount required to pay off the current mortgage will be used to increase outreach efforts in 2018.

The need for additional residential facilities in Dare County to treat substance abuse and addiction was outlined in the commissioners' agenda packet in statements from Substance Abuse Counselor JoAnn Hummers and Outer Banks Relief Foundation and Outer Banks Sporting Events President John Gillam, along with a Dare County Department of Social Services case worker, business owners and pastors.

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