Third Way Center's mission is to offer truth and hope to high risk, mentally ill, disadvantaged and often homeless adolescents, and their families.
Third Way Center, Inc. was originally founded in 1970 by a group of community volunteers to address the lack of services for teens leaving institutions. At that time, they had two options: homelessness or incarceration. Founding psychiatrist Dr. Hildegard Messenbaugh envisioned another alternative with lasting impact - a "third way" for these young people. Over the past 43 years, she has helped to transform what began as an overnight shelter for runaway youth in to a continuum for traumatized older children.
Third Way Center has grown into one of the region's most respected and comprehensive treatment programs for youth who have become institutionalized in the child welfare system and suffer from mental illnesses, learning disabilities, behavior disorders and more. Third Way Center is usually the "last stop" for these very vulnerable children.
Third Way Center is a private, not-for-profit entity eligible for Colorado's State Child Care Tax Credit. Our programs include ten licensed residential treatment homes, Denver's only licensed treatment program for teen mothers, two state-approved alternative high schools, a transitional housing program designated as a "national model treatment program" by the Department of Housing & Urban Development, and an intensive community after-care program that provides emancipating teens with the support they need to succeed.
"Third Way Center gave me the hope and the skill set to be successful." - Former Resident
"My TRUTH is that my life has been a long, hard road. My HOPE is that I can move on and be more than my past destined me to be."
- Current Resident
"I never knew this many people cared about me. It makes me feel so wanted." -Current Resident