The Mysteries of 380 Clinton Ave

Received this from a reader:

There's a building just about directly across from 361 Clinton (my bldg), the residents of which I've been curious about.  It appears to be some type of dorm for young women.  I was thinking maybe it was a St. Joseph's dorm, but the women seem a little bit dowdy to be college students.  They're mostly caucasion, maybe in their 20s, and always seem to travel in a group, seemingly accompanied by female chaperons.  I'm wondering if it's a nun dorm (whatever you call housing for nuns in training (novitiates?)).  I'll take a photo if it would make things easier.  Anyway, i'm just wanting to get some type of clarification as to who the building belongs to, and what's the deal with the young ladies.

I remembered coming across some information on this particular house a few years ago, but couldn't remember where.  After some intense Googling, I solved the mystery.

The house is owned by Teen Challenge, which I first blogged about more than two years ago.  Here is the text from that post:


I’ve been puzzled by this building on Clinton Avenue ever since I moved to the neighborhood in 2004. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone go in or out, yet the property looks open and well-maintained. A family friend who grew up down the block tells me that kids used to spray paint a “D” at the end of “CHALLENGE.” Pretty basic, yet made me chuckle.

So what IS this place?

Per their website:

"Working in the heart of New York City, Teen Challenge provides comprehensive faith-based residential programs for men and women seeking help to overcome drug addiction and other life-controlling problems."

Apparently, the program provides a live-in program for both men and women looking to get clean and stay that way. Ironically enough, they only take people 17 years and older. They also run an after school program for children in grades 2-6. (Why are they calling it Teen Challenge when few teenagers actually qualify for their programs??) Actually, other chapters of the organization, which was started in NYC in the 1950s, do offer live-in services and counseling for teens. The organization claims to have a very high success rate compared to other rehab institutions.

While they don’t list the actual addresses for the men’s and women’s live-in homes, they do have photos. Both look familiar, but I can’t place them off the top of my head. I think they also might be on Clinton Ave.

Since I’ve never heard a thing about them, or direct reports of the individuals causing problems in the neighborhood, it seems they’re doing a good job. They do help those in treatment earn their GED, which I highly laud.

The photos of the houses are no longer on the Teen Challenge site, but the house above in question was definitely one of them!  I wonder if they didn't want people to know which house it was?

I've never seen anyone go in and out of 380 Clinton myself.

I suspect the men's home is located at 311 Clinton Avenue, next to the Halloween house.