Pajaro Men's Center
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! – 2 Cor 5:17
The Pajaro Men’s Center is a faith-based, non-profit, residential discipleship/recovery program for men with life-controlling problems, including (but not limited to) drug and alcohol abuse. Our current population is 30+ men.
Entrance into our program is voluntary, although we accept men who are court-ordered to our facility. In either case, the men are free to leave the program anytime they choose. We would notify the authorities if they were court-ordered. Teaching faith in Jesus Christ alters behavior and instills positive values that allow the entire person to heal. Teen Challenge firmly believes, and results show, that an addict who establishes a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, will find permanent freedom from bondage. This central spiritual dynamic is the foundation on which all aspects of the Teen Challenge program are built. Teen Challenge rests upon one reason for success: “The Jesus Factor”.
The Teen Challenge model summed up: It’s not just drugs or alcohol; it’s moral training. [The Gospel of] Mark, chapter seven says “It’s not what enters a man that makes him unclean, it’s what comes out that destroys him; it’s what is in the person’s heart that destroys him.” We don’t just talk about drugs and alcohol. We talk about character. Our approach is built on the foundation that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is essential for long-term success.
Our program is a combination of personal devotions; daily chapel services, classroom studies of Bible-based topics such as attitudes, character qualities, obedience to God and Man, etc.; P.E.; and various work activities such as landscaping, moving, cutting and preparing firewood for sale, to name only a few. If a Student hasn’t completed high school, he must earn his GED before he can graduate.
The men attend various churches around the area on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings and evenings. On Friday nights, they attend a Christian 12 Step recovery program.
The Men still have free time, during which they can enjoy ping pong, board games, a weekly movie, a weight room, basketball and other activities such as picnics, pot lucks and special programs at the various churches they attend. They also may receive and send mail to immediate family members, as well as make and receive phone calls and weekend visits.
During our Third Phase of the program, the men become eligible to take on a part-time job or attend college up to 20 hours per week, continuing with a smaller load of class work at the Center. This is never sooner than six months into the program.
In the Fourth Phase, the men may work a full-time job if all their studies are completed, or attend college full time.
Students do receive a monthly allowance for personal spending. Students enrolled in the program are not eligible for earning income. Any income earned related to outside work, employment, disability, etc. goes to the program. After successful completion, the student may be eligible for a benevolence award to assist them in their new life (such as first and last month rent, car insurance, etc.). The amount awarded and allocated is determined by a Benevolence Committee at the time the student completes.
When a Student has met all program requirements and feels ready, he may request to go before the Accountability Committee, made up of Students and Staff. They review the Student’s progress and recommend completion or additional time as appropriate.
Our thirteen-month minimum program consists of classroom work, personal and group counseling, educational and vocational training assistance, and personal attention by the staff in a structured, nurturing environment.
PHASE 1 The student must complete certain curriculum requirements, show substantial improvement in attitude and demonstrate a willingness to change his negative behavior before progressing to the next level.
PHASE 2 The goals during the next three months are to continue the required curriculum work and consistently be self-disciplined, trustworthy, honest, cooperative and responsible. The student gains more privileges and responsibilities during this stage.
PHASE 3 During this stage, the student must demonstrate maturity, good judgment, and consistent positive attitudes and relationships both within and outside the program. He also participates in skills/career assessment classes and obtains the equivalent of a high school diploma (G.E.D. assessment). At this point, most Teen Challenge curriculum has been completed. The student will start adding work on the Christian 12-Step Process to his class time, as well as attending GED classes if that is necessary for him. In addition, he may get a part-time job locally, or attend the local Cabrillo College. At this time, the Student also chooses a home church to attend regularly on his own, though they usually attend with someone else from the Center, as accountability for each other.
PHASE 4 In the final stage, the student is fully responsible for all assigned class and household work and may attend outside personal activities job, schooling). He must make future plans for employment and/or continued education or training, a good home environment and church of his faith. Upon completion of Phase 4, the student is eligible for graduation.
WORK ACTIVITIES Throughout the program, the Students have many and varied work projects, such as helping individuals move, landscaping weekly at Bethany College and as requested elsewhere, helping with traffic control at the Laguna Seca summer races, the Watsonville Lion’s Club annual Fly-In, and many more. Through the work activities the Men are contributing to their upkeep in the program.
14 Life Study Courses
How Can I Know I’m A Christian: Where to look for evidence that you are a Christian. How to develop a personal relationship with Jesus. What to do about doubts.
A Quick Look at the Bible: A general introduction to the Bible. How does Christ fit into the whole Bible?
Attitudes: What are attitudes? How do we develop new attitudes? What is the right attitude to have when being criticized or corrected?
Temptation: What is temptation? Why do Christians get tempted? How can we prepare for temptation?
Successful Christian Living: What does God say about how you can be a successful Christian? What does the Holy Spirit do in your life when you are a Christian?
Growing Through Failure: What causes failure? What God does when you fail. Steps to recovery from failure. The role of forgiveness and restitution in recovery.
Christian Practices: A study of six subjects on the church and its practices
Obedience to God: Why should you obey God? What are God’s greatest laws? What are the results of obeying and disobeying God?
Obedience to Man: Why should you obey your leaders? Introduces guidelines on obeying your leader with love.
Anger and Personal Rights: Discusses why we get angry and how and how we express our anger. What are some practical ways to deal with your anger?
How to Study the Bible: Basic teaching on how and why to study the Bible. What are the three basic steps of Bible study? Three simple methods of studying the Bible are presented.
Love and Accepting Myself: What is love? What does the Bible say about love? What does it mean to accept yourself? What are the steps to developing a positive self image?
Personal Relationships with Others: Discusses how to be a good friend and how to develop different kinds of friendships. What should you do about non Christian friends?
Spiritual Power and Supernatural: What is true spiritual power and how it can have a practical impact on the life of the new Christian.