Our vision is to Put Hope Within Reach of every individual who is struggling with addiction. But, how do we get closer to the crisis? How do we deliver care to the 9 out of 10 addicts who never seek treatment? How do we reach the 270 million people struggling with substance abuse around the world? Getting closer to the crisis is a challenge. Designing new methods and delivering that care to those who are in need is an incredible task.
Seven years ago, I posed the question to a group of global Teen Challenge leaders: “What would it look like to put hope within reach of every addict - online?” The question was sincere, but I had no idea of how to do it, no funding or technology expertise to help, and not even a remote idea of how much work it would be.
Yet seven years later, we have done it! Let me say that again: We have done it! We have built a recovery support system that can put hope within reach of every addict digitally!
This February, Sober Peer is scheduled to be released across the United States. That means that anyone with a smartphone will be able to access care for addiction recovery care. It will enable more people to hear about the saving grace of salvation through Christ, and drive more individuals to the care Teen Challenge provides. The SP software and SP app will initially be available in English, then we will begin the process of expanding to multiple languages throughout 2020.
The effort of releasing the Sober Peer software is the result of our faithful board members, amazingly talented software developers, a team of dedicated programmers, the entire GTC staff, and our incredibly generous donors coming together to provide a way to meet those who need hope, right where they are. And God has walked with us every step of the way!
You cannot imagine what the process has been over the last 20 months. Literally thousands of hours have been invested to design and build this system. I cannot adequately express my sincere gratitude to all of those who have tirelessly given of themselves to this project. Multiple TC programs have participated in the beta testing of the software and app, which has helped us refine the platform and prepare it for broader use. Every Teen Challenge program in the world can now benefit from the use of Sober Peer Enterprise and Sober Peer Social App. Directors will have the ability to obtain the answers to a number of questions, such as: “What is the average length of stay for those entering our program? What is the average age of the students? What are the costs of care for our students? What is the number one drug of choice in our student population? What is the success rate of our recovery program?” The long-term engagement of those who complete the program will enable each of us to have immediate contact and measurements of our program's efforts, combined with global statistics. The information will be readily available, and instrumental, while working with donors, parents, and government officials who are asking for proof and evidence of our impact.
Furthermore, in the US, we have multiple states and drug agencies watching and waiting to see how they might utilize the SP technology in other programs that are seeking innovative ways to combat substance abuse and treat addiction.
We have invested much time and energy to ensure that Teen Challenge has a state-of-the-art system to measure the success of our programs. We’re now gathering data so that, over time, we can have the statistics we all need to affirm the success of Teen Challenge and prove that faith, and a relationship with Christ, is the key to living recovered for life.
As we pray for you, keep us in your prayers over the holiday season. We are truly excited to partner with each of you, as together we do all we can to put hope within reach of those struggling with addiction around the world.
Libby and I pray you have a Christ-filled Christmas and wonderful New Year!
Jerry Nance, PhD
Global Teen Challenge