For more information, please contact Joli Guenther at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each year over 26,000 Wisconsin Families are confronted with a profound crisis — the running away of their child. Young people run away from home for a variety of reasons. In most instances, they leave because of a family conflict, typically by lack of communication. Other times, they are forced out of their homes by parents or leave to escape sexual or physical abuse. Returning a youth to this environment without an attempt at resolution can result in more runaway episodes, continuing family conflict, or even more tragic consequences.
The Wisconsin Association for Homeless and Runaway Services, formed in 1979, is a coalition of community based, voluntary, non-profit agencies. The Association's members provide preventive and crisis counseling, temporary shelter, and referral services to these troubled youth. Family counseling is also provided to bring about reconciliation with parents whenever possible. Program services are available on a walk-in basis, as well as through 24 hour crisis hotlines.
The programs present young people with an opportunity to sort out problems and begin building more productive relationships with parents, friends, school, and community.
Joli Guenther was hired on as Executive Director in 2020, previous Assistant Director, worked on the proposed street outreach programs since their development in 1999 providing staff development, training and oversight of direct service and street outreach. Joli is a member of the RHYTTAC Advisory Board, National Safe Place Advisory Board and National Network for Youth Policy Council. For the past 20 years she also develops and facilitates conferences and training events and assists in the development and improvement of programming in street outreach, basic center, and TLP programs across Wisconsin.
Shana Dumbleton is new to the WAHRS staff as of 2020. She worked in Education for the past 20 years with the majority of that time being a School Counselor at a high school in Madison, Wisconsin.
Tim has been a member of the WAHRS staff since 2019. Previously he served as director of the Runaway and Homeless Youth program in Appleton, Wisconsin.