Our History

The Great Lakes Adult & Teen Challenge Rehab History

Milwaukee rehabGreat Lakes Women’s Rehab is a part of Adult & Teen Challenge. Originally founded in Brooklyn, New York, by Rev. David Wilkerson in 1958, Adult & Teen Challenge has helped many young adults struggling with drug addiction and gang affiliation find hope in Christ and transform their lives. Along the way, we’ve found growth in Christ, as well. Today, we provide over 110 recovery centers across the United States and over 1,200 in 122 countries – making us the largest faith-based rehabilitation network in the world.

Adult & Teen Challenge’s Great Lakes Roots

Sensing a need in the Great Lakes community, the founders of our Great Lakes Men’s and Women’s Milwaukee rehabs began meeting in 1983. Led by the Holy Spirit, a faithful group of business leaders and ministers started our first adult residential program in 1989. Over the next five years, we raised enough funds to purchase an old nursing home facility – which became our Men’s Center of Hope. This residential facility became a significant building block for the growth of our Milwaukee programs. In 2002, Great Lakes Men’s and Women’s Rehab programs obtained the used car lot next door to our Men’s Center. With this new addition, we began our Vehicle Donation Program, allowing our men to learn marketable job skills. Car donations continue to help us raise operational income more consistently today.

Great Lakes Women’s Rehab Program

Our Christian rehab center began in 1999 by repurposing the former New Life for Girls Home in Waukesha, WI. In 2001, a charitable donation by The Fleck Foundation provided us with a new building to house up to 30 women, giving us more space to grow. This new facility was named the Robby Dawson Home for Women. God’s plan is clear, and we continue to find ways to add bed space to our growing women’s ministry.

Great Lakes Men’s and Women’s Rehab Programs Today

Shortly after celebrating our 20th anniversary in 2003, Great Lakes Men’s and Women’s Christian rehab centers worked with ministry development experts, BBS & Associates, to help guide our efforts and direct the long-term goals the Holy Spirit has placed on our hearts. Our staff moved swiftly into action, improving all aspects of our adult residential rehabilitation programs over the next 10 years. Now nearing our 35th anniversary, we’ve received overwhelming support through financial gifts, donations, and, most importantly, prayer, which allowed us to open our Super Thrift Store in 2017. With this addition, we can provide work therapy training and skill development to our program participants.Milwaukee rehab

Prayers for the Future

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” – Jeremiah 29:12

Throughout the years, we’ve been tremendously blessed to be able to work with men and women struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. There’s still great work to be done and many people to reach. We ask that you please keep Great Lakes Men’s and Women’s Milwaukee rehab centers in your prayers as the Holy Spirit directs our programs and ministries into the future. Your support means the world to us.