Luis Arnaldo Ortiz
A veteran of the U.S. Army, Arnaldo came to Casa Refugio from Puerto Rico in 2000 with a drug addiction that destroyed his life and family. Casa Refugio was instrumental in changing his life. After successfully completing the program and demonstrating not only strong leadership skills but a desire to see others changed, Arnaldo served as Executive Director of Casa Refugio until 2010, giving back for what was given to him. Today, Arnaldo is a very successful insurance sales manager and God has also blessed him with a wife and daughter and he remains an active member of the church community at Templo el Refugio.
Jimmy came to Casa Refugio after several failed attempts at overcoming his drug habit. The program became the turning point in his life, which today is transformed and to those who knew will attest, he is a new man. In fact, Jimmy did so well he became Program Assistant for several years, providing oversight to the men at the houses and on the job. Jimmy remains active in Templo el Refugio church.
Casa Refugio Partners With Teen Challenge
With the help of Casa Refugio, a mission house in the south side of Bethlehem, Teen Challenge will now be able to extend its program to the Hispanic population.
President and Executive Director, Joseph Batluck says people will “Enter the program through Casa Refugio in Bethlehem and they will spend about 4 months there.....Then after about 4 months they'll come up here where we will introduce them to the reinforcement part of the program where as well as give them an opportunity to learn English some and work on their GED if they don't have a GED.”
The last 10 months of the 14 month program will take place on what the organization calls “God's Mountain” located in Berks County near Reading.
The program is similar to the 12-step program and includes bible study and community service.
For recent graduate Tim Worrell, it's been a life-changing experience.
“I've done two separate rehabs, I tried taking my life once, I was in a psych hospital for a short period of time so yeah I did try other things and they just didn't work” said Worrell.
However Worrell says Teen Challenge has been “really the most fulfilling thing I think I've ever done in my life and I would rather be nowhere else.”
For more information on the new partnership you can call Casa Refugio directly at 610-868-3188. Or visit Teen Challenge by clicking here.