At Elliot Park’s Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge headquarters, professional staff members stem the rising tide of drug abuse in the state
MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota Teen Challenge (MTC), is stretching its hand out to the Elliot Park community by teaming up with Elliot Park Neighborhood Inc. (EPNI) through outreaches and events such as Earth Fest and the 24th annual happening on May 5.
MTC, a facility that helps with addictions to drugs and alcohol, has been within the Elliot Community roughly around 30 years. They have done multiple outreaches to get the community involved but are still pursuing new ways to interact with the community.
“Many people in the Minneapolis area struggle with addiction and we have centers to help fight back and make winning the battle against addiction a reality,” MTC stated.
Being in the program for 15 years Gina Evans, outreach director at MTC, said her experience with people who struggle with addiction usually leads back to the feelings of lost connections.
“This is the reason we’re here,” Evans said. “to let these people know that they have someone they feel like they can be vulnerable with.” Therefore, Evans wants to make herself and the organization known and believes that teaming up with EPNI can be the first step.
Executive director of EPNI Lynn Regnier, has been working with MTC and wants to influence the community in a more positive direction going beyond the walls of her office. “We want the community to be influenced in a way where people will want to change,” said Regnier.
Regnier stated that before she retires she would like to see a major impact within the community and hopes to have the feeling she had done her part in making the community a better place to live.
With the annual community meeting coming up, MTC and EPNI are came together to discuss the events. The 24th annual Gala will be hosted at the Hilton in downtown Minneapolis starting at 5:30 and ending at 10 p.m. This night of celebrations, hosted by anchor Leah Mclean from KSTP,will feature the Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge choir and the lead singer of Kutless, Jon Micah Sumrall.
“We’re excited to see all the hard work we’ve done finally paying off,” said Evans. “They deserve the night for themselves.”
Evans said that volunteers are needed for providing food and helping set up, and that anyone can help and be a part of the event. Donations are being accepted at the event or online. She believes that the night will show how far most of the people at MTC have come and impact the way people think about the organization.
“We are a Christian organization and a lot of people are scared off by that.” Evans said.
MTC hopes that throwing these events will even help probation officers and partners with the government, political and law enforcement officials get involved within the community.
With the Earth Fest fast approaching in April, Lynn Regnier hopes that the event will bring everyone from around the area.
“It’s going to help us connect with the community on a different level,” Regnier said. “Not as high officials, but as human beings.”
Regnier hopes that the Earth Fest can be an event for all ages. Teaching the community how to be earth friendly. At the event, they will be showing how water bottles can turn into plant holders and they will have bicycles to help show how important exercise is.
Besides providing food and fun games, MTC will be coming out and helping set up the bike race, which Wheel Fun Rentals, a recreational rental business, has put together. Their goal is to interact with the community and inform people about the drug situation in their area, as well as the dangers of using drugs.
The upcoming events will help them connect to the community on a deep, personal level and allow the community to be open to the idea of getting help. If the events go well, MTC will plan on hosting a couple of their own events this summer such as the Minnesota fishing challenge which is being presented by Mills Fleet Farm in June and the Freedom 5K run/walk in September.
“They love to get out and be a part of the community.” Their good neighbors and easy people to work with.” Regnier mentioned. She believes that this new connection with MTC will be the start of something extraordinary.
Gina Evans, Outreach Director at MN Adult and Teen Challenge, 612.238.6187, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lynn Regnier, Executive Director of Elliot Park Neighborhood Incorporation, 612.335.5846, email@example.com