July, 20 2018

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Pennsylvania Home offers Help for Troubled Teens

Lori Ziegler found her calling at a Christian women's conference in Philadelphia.

Sara Trollinger, a former teacher and born-again Christian, told the audience about her residential treatment program for troubled teens. She brought one such reformed troubled teenager to share her story.

Ziegler wasn't interested at first.

She was poised to leave the auditorium when "God said to me, 'Sit back down. This is for you.'"

Three years later, Ziegler and a group of volunteers are launching York's Healing House of Hope, a nondenominational, not-for-profit entity in Jacobus modeled after Trollinger's flagship campus in Orlando, Fla.

Their desire is to reach troubled teens people ages 12 to 18 struggling with drugs or alcohol, dealing with past or current abuse (physical, emotional or sexual), emotional issues or sexual promiscuity.

Ziegler and her board are praying for a property where they can house troubled teenaged girls for eight to 18 months for Christian counseling, schooling, relationship-building and group support. Later, they would open the social-services program to boys when separate housing is available.

Parents are expected to be part of the process, taking weekly Christian-based counseling and parenting classes. Most teens won't alter their behavior unless their home environment changes, too, Ziegler said.

"We want to be reconciliation for the families," said Ziegler, who lives in York Township with her husband and children, ages 21 and 15.

While not yet offering residential counseling for teens, Healing House of Hope's first six weeks of parenting classes begin Jan. 24 at Christ United Methodist Church in Jacobus.

"All of a sudden, parents find their kids acting out - their behavior erratic, combative, even destructive," Ziegler said. "Parents don't know where to turn for help, and they want a Christian program."

Those without a Christian background are also welcome, she said.

"So while the child is learning about God, the parents are, too."

Trollinger has claimed a 95 percent rate of reuniting broken families. Her program promotes the power of Christian conversion and pushes a strict moral code to change troubled teenage behavior.

At the 10-acre House of Hope campus in Orlando, teens are allowed no smoking, profanity or fraternizing with the opposite sex. Days start and end with silent Bible reading. Chapel, Sunday church, group prayers and chores are also part of the schedule. Students are tutored in a Christian curriculum.

Houses of Hope have opened across the country, iincluding homes in Danville, Reading, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Silver Spring, Md.
As the York project expands, the board will work toward locating a house for the residential programs for troubled teens and hiring more staff, including a fundraising coordinator.

Ziegler spent her first career helping to manage pharmacies - administrative experience that should serve her well as executive director, she said.

Board member Lisa Stahlman of East Manchester Township said their dream is to find a farm property to build dorms, a chapel, recreational center, auditorium and dining facility.

"There's a need. There's a need everywhere," Stahlman said. "The Danville house (that opened recently)? It's full."

Related Articles:
School for Troubled Teens Denied in Maryland 1/15/08
Montana Opens 1st of 7 Residential Treatment Centers for Meth Addiction 1/16/08
Retreat for Troubled Teens Planned in Kansas 1/28/08
Residential Treatment Center for Troubled Teens Denied in Idaho 8/17/07
Alabama Gov Proud of New Services for Troubled Youth 1/11/08
TX, Lone Star Expeditions 1st to Integrate Ropes Course for Troubled Teens 1/14/08
Center for Troubled Teens to Open in Pennsylvania 1/12/08
Maryland Troubled Teens Tracked by GPS 1/12/08
New York Closes 6 Centers for Troubled Youth 1/12/08
Jamaica Considers Using Boot Camps to Help Troubled Teens 1/12/08

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