What is TreeHouse?
It’s an exciting time for the Mahtomedi TreeHouse! We are building relationships with teens and introducing them to the TreeHouse culture of acceptance and grace based on Christ’s love. With a thirty-year track record in the north and west suburbs of Minneapolis, TreeHouse is a youth ministry helping teens navigate the challenges of life.
TreeHouse is a Christian organization offering living hope, guidance, and unconditional love to teens dealing with tough issues such as depression/suicidal tendencies, substance abuse, truancy, teen crime, self-injury and sexual activity. Balanced programs meet the social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual needs of teens. TreeHouse provides a safe environment and mentorship for teens to receive support, guidance and practical skills in making better choices today to live as healthy adults tomorrow. Programs are free and include transportation to and from TreeHouse.
We value creating opportunities for teens to experience fun together because of the way it builds trust and relationship. Walls begin to break down as they realize TreeHouse is a safe place where they are told they are lovable, capable, and worthwhile. While they may not be able to put it into words initially, we know it is just a matter of time before they really start to know how valuable they are to God, to us, and to others. Thank you for partnering with us as we reach out to teens in your community! Here are some ways to get involved:
Make an impact. When we come together as a caring group combining our compassion, skills and resources to make a difference in the lives of teens, everyone gains from the experience. The Mahtomedi Community Development Team is a great way to volunteer your time and ideas alongside a committed team of supporters.
Prayer connects people in an indescribable way. It is such an encouragement to know there are others praying for your needs. Pray that God would prepare teens’ hearts, that strong relationships would be built, healing would take place and lives would be transformed.
Why have TreeHouse in our community?
A silent epidemic is working its way through teens, tearing at them, their families and our communities. Confirmed by government and private agencies alike, this epidemic is causing behaviors that can ruin individuals’ lives, shatter once-solid families and harm entire communities.
Here are six symptoms of this epidemic:
Families are imploding.
Today, countless families are imploding as they experience tremendous pressures on many fronts. And chances are it’s happening right in your neighborhood. Staggering numbers of children live in poverty. Many experience homelessness. Abuse and neglect are on the rise. Add in the converging crises of divorce, addicted parents and absentee guardians, and the need for intervention and effective transformation becomes painfully acute.
Teen crime victimizes everyone.
Teens who commit crimes can ruin their own lives. But they also threaten the well-being of the community at large. The direct tangible cost to crime victims totals an estimated $105 billion annually in medical expenses, lost earnings and public programs for victim assistance. The number rises to well over $450 billion each year when you include the resulting pain, suffering and reduced quality of life.
Alcohol and drugs wreak havoc.
Consider these numbers: Youth who start drinking before age 15 are 5 times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse than those who begin drinking at or after age 21. In Minnesota alone, 64% of high school seniors, and 38% of 9th graders, used alcohol, and marijuana is used by 30% of seniors. It goes from bad to worse when you factor in cocaine, LSD, ecstasy and methamphetamines. The havoc this wreaks in lives, schools, homes and society is nearly incalculable.
Self-abuse and suicide are stark realities.
Teens literally hurt themselves through “cutting,” eating disorders and other forms of self-injury. The facts surrounding depression and suicide are even more frightening: 1 in 8 adolescents are diagnosed with depression; and in Minnesota, suicide is the 2nd-leading cause of death among those 15–24 years old. Depression is often an underlying contributor to other at-risk behaviors, leading to poor performance in school, withdrawal from family and friends, feelings of helplessness and sadness, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts and actions.
Teen sex is rampant.
Adolescents are using the Internet and cell phones for sexual-related activity and becoming obsessed with sex, leading to promiscuity at younger ages and with multiple partners. The facts: 39% of all teens send or post sexually explicit pictures or messages; one-third of 16- and 17-year-old boys intentionally have viewed pornography in the past year. The long-term consequences are dire: Teen pregnancies, STDs, sexual identity confusion and sexual violence represent just some of the fallout teens are experiencing because of this out-of-control behavior.
Truancy and failure to graduate are costly.
When kids drop out of school and fail to graduate, they don’t just shortchange the quality of their own lives. They cost society billions. If the high school students who dropped out of the Class of 2009, for example, had graduated, the nation’s economy would have benefited from nearly $335 billion in additional income over their lifetimes. Students who fail to graduate reduce their chances for good jobs. Schools lose money. In Minnesota alone, over 25% of students drop out and don’t graduate. And for African American and Hispanic students, nearly 60% drop out and fail to graduate.
So that is what’s going on in the world: Six symptoms. One silent epidemic. And an organization – TreeHouse – dedicated to breaking the silence and stemming the tide of the epidemic by loving kids, bringing hope and transforming lives.
At TreeHouse, long-term, committed, trusting relationships are formed. Teens care about what we know, because they know how much we care. TreeHouse staff listen, affirm and support. TreeHouse is a place to have fun, meet friends, discover faith, overcome pain, serve others and be empowered by staff to succeed.