CI HERO: Pekin man helps men break free from the clutches of addiction

CI Heroes

PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) — Fighting the clutches of the opioid epidemic is Pekin man Joe Rogers. He advocates for Central Illinois men battling against drug and other substance controlling issues.

This week’s CI Hero said it’s his duty to lend a hand up away from a path of addiction.

On the outskirts of Pekin lies a nondescript building. Inside it houses the mission of Adult and Teen Challenge Illinois (ATCI). It helps men ages 18 and above fight against the opioid epidemic. It’s located at 2400 N. 8th Street in Pekin.

“The impact that we’re having in this area is significant, not only just to the area but our entire state and all the communities. Addiction doesn’t discriminate.”

joe rogers| director of operations | atci

Rogers is the director of operations for ATCI. The 12-month faith-based recovery program is a base-model for future centers across the nation.

“Teen Challenge Illinois, our Pekin men’s center, has been elected by Teen Challenge USA as the innovation center for the future,” said Rogers. “So, what that means is they use our center as a model moving forward for all Teen Challenge centers in the United States. And part of that is because of some of the programming that we’ve added to our program.”

Rogers holds his reasoning for advocacy close to his heart.

“I lost my 24-year-old son to an intentional heroin overdose,” said Rogers. “That really put it on my heart to do what I do. I’m also a product of this program, so I kind of came through the ranks.”

ATCI has been impacting lives for 20 years. Rogers also serves the area through his involvement in the Peoria mayor’s Opioid Task Force, Peoria Recovery Project, and Don’t Shoot Program.

Pekin ATCI
Phone: 309-673-3716

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