MN Adult and Teen Challenge Women's Center Officially Opens

November 13, 2017 09:25 PM

(ABC 6 News) – Monday was a big day for local women who have been in desperate need of long-term help to end their drug addiction.

Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge have officially opened its doors to a first of its kind Women's Center in Rochester.


Many, like Rochester native, Nikki McConnell have been waiting for the facility to open. 

It took her 15 years of methamphetamine use to hit rock bottom and seek help from Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge, "When child protective services took my children, that's when I knew if I don't get out of here, I may not make it out alive."

"I would say that for me, I lost my identity. I didn't really know who I was. At 15 years old, you don't know a whole lot about life yet."  "Hopeless, broken and needing help for my addiction," added McConnell.

Now, she's two years sober and getting the chance to help others who are also going through what she had to go through.  

Tom Truszinski, the director, for Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge says the Women’s Center is much needed in this area, "South of Northfield, with the exception of maybe one or two other treatment programs for women, there's nothing long term."

For the first time, a nearby long and short-term facility, making it that much easier for women to get help.

"If there's one reason why I hesitated so greatly it was because I was a mom, I had a family to take care of. I needed to be there for them and even though I wasn't in good health or emotionally present," said Truszinski.

But now, the facility will be able to house 74 women at a time, giving them hope for a brighter future.

"Meth, opiates, heroin is rising each and every day and we want to make an impact positively in what is going on in this culture of abuse," said Truszinski.   

"Women come in here and they don't know their worth, they don't know their value. And for me to be just one single part of that and to watch these women really figure out who they are and that they have to value is going to be so amazing," said McConnell.

For now, only the long-term program is open but the plan is to open the short-term program by the beginning of next year.

Applications from clients are being accepted online.


Roxanne Elias

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