About Renovation House

Renovation House is a service of Youth Challenge, a 501(c)(3) organization that offers long-term, residential rehabilitation treatment for men struggling with alcohol and drug addiction. Our program began in a room in a public housing project during the 1980s. Since then, through limited means, we have grown into a well established non-profit with strategic partnerships with the Department of Corrections, the Department of Education and the Department of Human Services in the states of New Jersey and New York.

Who we treat

Operating out of full-time residential facilities in Perth Amboy, NJ, and in Spencer, NY, we treat as many as forty-four men in each program year. About 30% of our participants are remanded from the criminal justice system, 20% volunteer on their own, and 50% are referred from alumni of churches that are familiar with our program and its successes.

Residents are accepted from all counties in New York and New Jersey and represent every ethnicity. In consultation with our counselors and in consideration of our intensly faith-based approach, each resident chooses to enroll in the program. No one who wants to attend is turned away for an inability to pay.

Our approach

We focus on the three dimensions of man—spirit, mind and body—within a tightly regimented program. Our twelve-month program is an incubator that provides men with the one-on-one counseling, support and structure they need to remain drug and alcohol free for the rest of their lives. Our staff makes a lifetime commitment to each resident and remains available and in touch long after the program year ends. We provide the spiritual sustenance, devotion and discipline that men learn to rely on in times of disappointment, stress, grief or anger.

The program

During their stay at our facilities, our participants are provided with housing, utilities, meals, medical attention and physical activity. We provide education—including information about the impact of drug use—work skills, life skills, and access to GEDs and college programs.

A typical day begins with a morning chapel service and discussion group. These chapel services often include educational guest speakers, many of whom have overcome their own addictions. Morning services are followed by bible study, lunch, and then group prayer and reflection.

In the afternoons, the men engage in a work practicum that keeps them active and teaches or reinforces needed skills, including the construction trades. After dinner, the men take part in evening activities that include league softball, socials and church services. On some days, the men receive up to six hours of prayer, reflection, bible study and fellowship.

Through the first nine months of the program, the residents receive one-on-one counseling, where we help them set goals, on at least a weekly basis. The men are then evaluated after the first month and again quarterly to gauge their progress against group and individual milestones.

During the last three months of treatment, residents move to transitional housing and work during the day, gathering for communal meals and fellowship. At this time, our staff focuses on their re-entry into the real world by focusing on life skills such as time management, appropriate workplace behavior, conflict resolution and other coping behaviors. We also actively involve them in an outside church community to give them a network of social, emotional and spiritual support.