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Wisconsin Runaway Programs

Marcus against the fence.

A runaway service facility provides temporary shelter and crisis intervention counseling services to runaways and other youth in crisis. Crisis intervention counseling is also provided for parents and families. Agencies make every effort to encourage family members to participate with youth in counseling.

Runaway programs accept self-referrals and voluntary referrals from youth, caregivers, families, and agencies with youth free to discontinue use of service to any time. Crisis intervention services are available to any youth or parent requesting assistance. All services are free of charge and available on a 24 hour basis.

Runaway programs act to prevent runaway episodes by follow up, aftercare, and preventative activities. Programs involve service linkages with youth serving public and private sector agencies, insuring cooperative relations and effective referrals. The runaway program must have plans for meeting the best interests of the youth involving, whenever possible, both the youth and caregivers. In runaway programs, a unique counselor-client relationship is established, which stresses the qualities of trust and confidentiality. Youth make their own decisions in a supportive environment with appropriate advice as to their alternatives.

Marcus against the fence.

Map of Program Locations

Position mouse over each hub city to find program location and contact information.
Each hub serves a 40 mile radius.

Program Locations

  1. Appleton: Greg Lemke-Rochon; Katie VanGroll
    Runaway and Homeless Youth Services, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley
    160 South Badger Ave
    Appleton, WI 54914-5228
    Office:(920) 731-0555
    Hotline: (920) 731-0557
    Fax: (920) 968-2716
    (Outagamie, Winnebago 40%)

  2. Eau Claire/LaCrosse: Tanya Alexander
    LSS-RAYS Eau Claire
    120 South Barstow
    Eau Claire, WI 54701
    Office: (715) 418-5529
    Hotline: 1-855-LSS-RAYS
    Fax: (715) 833-8423
    (Clark, Chippewa, E. Claire, Rusk)tanya.alexander@lsswis.org

  3. Green Bay: Katie Gazella
    Family Services of NE WI
    300 Crooks Street / POB 22308
    Green Bay, WI 54305-2308
    Office: (920) 436-4360 x 1287
    Hotline: (920) 436-8888
    Fax: (920) 436-4376

  4. Gresham:
    Maehnowesekiyah Treatment Cr
    2150 Kesaehkahtek
    Gresham, WI 54128
    Office: (715) 799-3835
    Hotline: (800) 474-6689
    Fax: (715) 799-3836
    (Statewide Native American)

  5. Kenosha: Jeannine Field
    Kenosha Human Development Svcs
    5407 8th Avenue
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    Office: (262) 764-8555
    Hotline: (800) 236-7188
    Fax: (262) 653-2080
  6. Madison: Casey Behrend
    Briarpatch Youth Services
    2720 Rimrock Road
    Madison, WI 53713
    Office: (608) 245-2550
    Hotline: (608) 251-1126 / (800) 798-1126
    Fax: (608) 245-2551
    (Dane, Dodge, Jefferson)

  7. Milwaukee: Audra O'Connell
    Walkers Point Youth &Family Ctr
    Office: 2030 W National Ave
    Milwaukee, WI 53204
    Shelter: 732 S. 21st Street
    Milwaukee, WI 53204
    Office: (414) 647-8200
    Hotline: (414) 647-8200
    Fax: (414) 672-5340

  1. Milwaukee: Tim Baack
    Pathfinders Youth Shelter
    1614 E Kane Place
    Milwaukee, WI 53202
    Pathfinders Program Office
    4200 North Holton Street, Suite 400
    Milwaukee, WI 53212-1064
    Hotline: (866) 212-7233
    Fax: (414) 271-1831

  2. Racine: Jeanette Brown
    SAFE Haven Youth Shelter
    1030 Washington Avenue
    Racine, WI 53403-1762
    Office: (262) 637-9559
    Hotline: (262) 632-0424
    Fax: (262) 632-8758

  3. Rhinelander:Angela Dexter
    KIN, Inc.
    52 N Brown Street
    Rhinelander, WI 54501
    Office/Fax: (715) 365-7003
    Hotline: (715) 927-TEEN
    (Forest, Oneida, Vilas)

  4. Sheboygan: Emily Kunde LSS RAYS
    706 North 9th Street
    Sheboygan, WI 53081
    Office: (920) 458-7100
    Hotline: 1-855-LSS-RAYS
    Fax: (920) 458-5670
    (Calumet, Fond du Lac, Manitowoc, Sheboygan)

  5. Stevens Point: Wendy Fletcher
    CAP Family Crisis Center
    1616 West River Drive
    Stevens Point, WI 54481
    Office: (715)343-7117
    Hotline: (800) 472-3377
    Local: (715) 343-7125
    Fax: (715) 343-7176
    (Adams, Portage, Waupaca, Waushara, Wood)

  6. Superior: Tanya Nelson
    Project Reach Out
    1500 N. 34th Street, Suite 100
    Superior, WI 54880
    Office: (715) 395-6428
    Hotline: (800) 777-7844
    Fax: (715) 392-6055
    (Douglas, Ashland, Bayfield, Iron)

  7. Waukesha: Peter Sierra
    Youth and Family Project
    1570 E Moreland Blvd
    Waukesha, WI 53186
    Office: (262) 547-7752
    Fax: (262) 547-7707
    Cell: (262) 212-8350

  8. West Bend, Port Washington: Emily Greene
    Youth & Family Project
    630 Elm Street
    West Bend, WI 53095
    Office: (262) 338-1661
    Hotline (800) 924-3555
    Fax: (262) 338-7761
    (Washington, Ozaukee)

  9. WI Association for Runaway Services
    (608) 241-2649
    Fax: Same
    Executive Director: Patricia Balke
    Assistant Director, Joli Guenther: (608)239-5430
    AC Program Director: John Babbitt: (414) 403-1526

  10. State of WI Runaway Program Specialist: Margaret (Greta) Munnz
    Housing and Employment Policy Coordinator
    Bureau of Youth Services
    Department of Children and Families
    201 East Washington Avenue
    Madison, WI 53703

Transitional Living Programs for Older Homeless Youth


Thousands of young people run away from their homes, are asked to leave their homes, or become homeless in the United States each year. Since 1975, under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (JJDPA), as amended, the Federal Government has funded emergency shelter programs for runaway and homeless youth that provide for the immediate needs of these youth and their families and promote family reunification. Unfortunately, however, many young people who are homeless today cannot return to their families. Some have escaped abusive situations; others are the victims of neglect, abandonment, or severe family conflict.

In response to the growing concern for these youth, Congress determined that many young people need long-term, supportive assistance that emergency shelter programs were not designed to provide. As a result, Congress created the Transitional Living Program for Older Homeless Youth (TLP) as part of the 1988 Amendments to the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA), Title III of the JJDPA. The TLP was modeled after several successful demonstration projects funded in the early 1980s by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Congress assigned administration of the TLP to the HHS. Within HHS, the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) funded the first TLP projects in 1990.

Today, FYSB continues to fund the Transitional Living Program through the Runaway, Homeless, and Missing Children Protection Act of 2003 (Public Law 108-96), which reauthorizes the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act and provides funding for the organizations and shelters that serve and protect runaway, homeless, missing, and sexually exploited children (to view the act, you must first download and install the free Acrobat Reader, if you have not previously done so). In FY 2003, $36.7 million funded 191 communities to support TLP. This funding will also support the Presidential initiative that created maternity group homes, transitional living programs for young mothers and their children.



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The mission of the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) is to provide national leadership on youth issues and to assist individuals and organizations in providing effective, comprehensive services for youth in at-risk situations and their families. The goals of FYSB programs are to provide positive alternatives for youth, ensure their safety, and maximize their potential to take advantage of available opportunities.

Through the TLP, FYSB supports projects that provide longer term residential services to homeless youth ages 16-21 for up to 18 months. These services are designed to help youth who are homeless make a successful transition to self-sufficient living.

TLP grantees are required to provide youth with stable, safe living accommodations and services that help them develop the skills necessary to move to independence. Living accommodations may be host family homes, group homes, maternity group homes, or "supervised apartments." (Supervised apartments are either agency-owned apartment buildings or "scattered site" apartments, which are single-occupancy apartments rented directly by young people with support from the agency.) TLPs also provide pregnant or parenting youth with parenting skills, including child development, family budgeting, health and nutrition, and other skills to promote their long-term economic independence in order to ensure the well-being of their children.

Services Provided

TLP grantees are required to offer the following services, either directly or by referral:

  • Safe, stable living accommodations
  • Basic life-skill building, including consumer education and instruction in budgeting, using credit, housekeeping, menu planning, food preparation, and parenting skills
  • Interpersonal skill building, including enhancing young people's abilities to establish positive relationships with peers and adults, make decisions, and manage stress
  • Educational opportunities, such as GED preparation, postsecondary training, or vocational education
  • Assistance in job preparation and attainment, such as career counseling and job placement
  • Education, information, and counseling to prevent, treat, and reduce substance abuse
  • Mental health care, including individual and group counseling
  • Physical health care, including routine physicals, health assessments, and emergency treatment

FYSB's Grant Award Process

FYSB solicits applications through an annual Federal Register announcement. Applications are competitively reviewed by peer panels, and successful applicants receive 5-year grants.

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Transitional Living Program Locations

  1. Walkers Point Youth and Family Center, TLP
    Director:Audra O'Connel
    Insights Young Adult TLP
    2030 W National
    Milwaukee, WI 53204
    (414) 647-8200

  2. Family Services of NE WI, Inc
    PO Box 22308
    Green Bay, WI 54305-2308
    (920) 438-1616
    Director: Meika Burnikel

  3. Kenosha Human Development Services, Transitional Housing Services
    Director: Lisa Haen
    4844 42nd Avenue
    Kenosha, WI 53143
    (262) 654-8368

  1. Briarpatch Youth Services, Inc.
    Casey Behrend, Executive Director
    2720 Rimrock Road
    Madison, WI 53713
    (608) 245-2550 x 1216

  2. Project 16:49
    Tammy DeGarmo, Executive Director
    740 N. Randall Avenue
    Janesville, WI 53545
    (608) 314-5501

Street Outreach

Aurora and
The Wisconsin Association for Homeless and Runaway Services is a network of community based, voluntary, non-profit, agencies. The goals of the member agencies are to strengthen families, prevent family dissolution, promote self-sufficiency, and assure permanent, stable, homes for youth. Programs provide youth and their families with preventive and crisis individual, family and group intervention, temporary shelter, crisis hotlines, aftercare services, outreach, and community education.

Street Outreach Member Programs of WAHRS :

  • Provide youth with direct access to resources through a mobile youth outreach worker
  • Provide youth with counseling, temporary shelter, 24 hour crisis hotlines, and after care services
  • Reunite 90% of street youth served through the runaway program with their families or have them placed in a mutually agreed upon safe alternate living arrangement
  • Provide outreach and referral services to street youth and implement positive community relations
  • Provide Street Youth with educational materials specifically geared towards addressing issues of sexual exploitation, pregnancy prevention, and substance abuse


  • Provide opportunities for street outreach program mutual support and information sharing
  • Provide on-site and 24 hour phone technical assistance to street outreach programs
  • Provide on-site technical assistance on street outreach program development/implementation
  • Provide/coordinate pre-service training of street outreach workers and ongoing educational workshops/staff training
  • Coordinate educational and promotional material development and resource sharing
  • Carry out fiscal and all other reporting responsibilities in connection with proposal funding
  • Provide ongoing evaluation of program through site visits and coordinate peer review process.

Aurora and

Street Outreach Program Locations

  • Milwaukee (Milwaukee County)

  • Racine (Racine County)

  • Madison (Dane, Dodge and Jefferson Counties)

  • Menomonie (Barron, Dunn, Pepin, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix Counties)

  • Eau Claire (Clark, Chippewa, E. Claire and Rusk Counties)

  • Dodgeville (Crawford, Grant, Green, Iowa and Lafayette Counties)

  • Janesville (Rock County)

  • Rhinelander (Forest, Oneida and Vilas Counties)

WAHRS • Patricia Balke • pbalke.wahrs@gmail.com • 608-241-2649

WAHRS • Patricia Balke