established - March, 1993
Non-Toxic Youth Alternatives, Inc was begun by Dave Flood in 1993. Dave serves as the organization's founder and corporate president. His desire to see positive alternatives directed toward teens provided a framework for its philosophy of ministry. It was designed to be an outreach that evolves with the changing Youth Culture. Here, we place value on teens.
The teen center officially opened on April 9, 1993--it was an idea that was brewing in Dave's head for a long time. In fact, while working on his degree at Dallas Theological Seminary, he had to do a semester project; for 5 months he worked on it, and re-wrote it I don't know how many times (we went through reams of paper!!) He was very excited about it and eventually when his professors saw it, they too were impressed and encouraged him to actually go out and do it---so that semester-long project became the teen center, of course.
Part of the motivation for his thinking was frustration with a lack of options for teens who appeared different. So basically, he wanted someplace safe, where they (the teens, young people) could "hang" and feel comfortable and get to know adults who genuinely care for them.
There are no rules of behavior posted on the walls here -such as "no swearing" "no yelling" and "no-tongue piercers"--no, we welcome all and accept them where they're at. This is a place for teens. Here they will see positive role models in the staff and can develop relationships through the various activities.
Non-Toxic Youth Alternatives was incorporated in September of 1994. There is a board of directors and constitution and bylaws. It is a 501(C)3 not-for-profit charitable organization. It operates on the generosity of donations. There are monthly supporters (bless them!!!) and other givers, supporters, and grantors.
From a 1,000 square feet room with one pool table and one foosball table we have grown to offer 5,000 square feet of recreational games, outdoor adventure retreats, a concert hall, a tournament venue, Bear Claw Lodge Retreat Adventures, after-school programs, skilled trades workshop and more. The first move was a relocation to a much larger facility which required several phases of demo and renovation. We grew too fast and then downsized appropriately. We spent 17 years at this location until relocating to a larger place that would allow more specific programs (workshop with lathes, welders, etc.).
The opportunity was incredible and the task at hand was enormous. Hundreds of volunteers, over $80,000 in unsolicited donations, and 18 months later the teen center reopened and the community rallied to support us. We are privileged to have this opportunity and we know it.
The PRO-Teen workshop was completed in 2015. Here teens, guided by skilled adult professionals, receive vocational training in machining, welding, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, and other skilled trades. As we continue to grow we plan to remain relevant to provide healthy activities for teens. Our programs are designed to educate and inspire teens.
In 2015, a generous man, Jeffrey Helgesen, pledged $65,000, in an effort to help the teen center pay off its mortgage on the newly acquired property. Within two months the money was raised, and Mr. Helgesen added another matching grant of up to $10,000. Thank you, Mr. Helgesen.
We own properties in two counties and remain debt-free.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I believe it is often true. Therefore, enjoy the following images that tell a long history of faithful volunteers who value teenagers.