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Teen Challenge Car Wash Express Closes Amid Concerns, New Thrift Store Opens In Sikeston

Lindsey Grojean/KRCU

After several years as a popular hand car wash for many in the Cape Girardeau and surrounding communities, the Teen Challenge Car Wash Express, next to Rhodes on West End Boulevard, saw its last day Monday.

The closure came after a growth in vehicles containing drugs, alcohol, and firearms was outlined through a press release by Adult and Teen Challenge Mid-America’s (ATCMA) executive director, Rev. James Bolin.

The faith-based drug treatment program, which ministers to men over the age of 17 with various addictions and life-controlling issues, decided that these vehicles that make their way through the Express pose too great of a temptation to the Teen Challenge students who work there.

“We have tried our best to find a solution in order to keep the car wash open, but we must respect the need to care for the well being of our students while they are here trying to put their life back together.” said the press release, which was issued earlier this month.

But, Bolin points out, the closure wasn’t by the fault of their customers. He credits much of their success to those who kept coming back.

“They have, through the years, been so faithful to support us and to encourage us,” says Bolin. “They believe in our cause, and that’s to see lives changed. That’s why the car wash was so successful.”

There are many other avenues for the community to be involved with ATCMA, not only through their two thrift stores in Cape Girardeau and Jackson and their lawn care services, but through a new venture to replace the car wash. Bolin says ATCMA has opened its third thrift store in Sikeston on Tuesday, January 1.