If you’re a college senior and trying to figure out what to do after graduation, I can’t think of an experience I’d more highly recommend than the Dale House Project.
When I look back over my life, I’m convinced that the year I spent working at the DHP was the hardest 12 months of my life- but also the most significant and formative when it comes to understanding youth ministry.
What does a year at the DHP entail?
- Imagine a view of Pike’s Peak from your bedroom every morning (14,000 ft elevation).
- Imagine getting to be a Young Life leader that lives in the same house as your high school friends AND your YL team.
- Imagine learning from wise and experienced staff who’ve worked with at-risk adolescents for dozens of years.
What Is The Dale House Project?
The Dale House is a residential care facility in Colorado Springs for at-risk teenagers. Many of these teenage residents are juvenile offenders transitioning out of lock-up facilities back into society. Some have been neglected, some abused, and most are not able to return home, if home even exists.
The Dale House opened in 1972 as a special project with Young Life. It was started in response to the alarming nation-wide proliferation of broken homes, child abuse, teenage pregnancy, incest, and drug and alcohol abuse. The DHP is located just a half mile walk to the Young Life Service Center. The Dale House is a led by a Christian community of staff that models community living for the residents. The staff relationships are a priority along with sharing Christ through this community with the residents.
The DHP has a goal to not just share Jesus verbally, but to holistically care for these teenagers by teaching them the skills necessary to live independently.
Each year the Dale House takes in hundreds of troubled young people. Most are referred by the Department of Human Services or the Division of Youth Corrections. Though licensed to house children ages 16-21, most residents are around 17 years old and average a length of stay of six to nine months.
Funding for the Project comes from a combination of government agencies who place children at Dale House along with contributions from churches, civic organizations, and individuals.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the possibility of working at the DHP you can call the DHP at 719-471-0642. They’d love to chat with you. You can also visit find out more here.
You may have seen this article about The Dale House in an issue of Relationships magazine from a few years ago.
Check out the DHP job description on the Young Life website.