The Briarpatch Youth Shelter provides shelter and other services to homeless or runaway youth, or youth at risk of separation from their family due to conflict or other reasons. Opened in 2015, it contains eight beds and welcomes youths of all gender identities ages 13-17. There are an estimated 300 youth in Dane County that are homeless every night. This shelter was created to help these youth get off the streets and provide them with services to succeed. Aside from providing shelter, we provide services including individual counseling, family counseling, case management and a 24-hour help line.

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The Parent Support Program services are designed to assist concerned parents and caregivers when they have a child or teen involved in harmful behaviors including alcohol or drug use, truancy or delinquency. The program also provides services to parents and caregivers who have youth that are experiencing mental health challenges, sexual orientation or gender identity struggles, difficulty with interpersonal relationships, conflicts with parents, self-harm, abusive behavior and educational concerns.

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The goal of Support for Success is to provide educational and employment counseling – as well as case management – to emotionally/behaviorally challenged youth in Dane County. We aim to help those parents who sometimes wonder about their teen’s ability to succeed in school and reach their potential; getting and keeping a job; relationships and well-being; attitude and behavior; ability to have a ‘normal’ conversation.

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The Street Outreach Program was created to address the increasing number of at-risk youth living on the streets and engaging in potentially self-destructive behaviors. The program utilizes paid staff and trained volunteers to contact street youth and connect them with resources they need to be safe and healthy.  Youth are provided with personal care items, STI prevention information and supplies, informational counseling, referrals to meal sites, referrals to shelter services and referrals for counseling and medical care as appropriate.

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The Transitional Living Program (TLP) is a transitional living cooperative model designed to provide supportive housing and a safety net. for young adults ages 18-21 who have experienced housing vulnerabilities. The program employs a positive youth development model so as to create strong emotional support for our young adults to transition into self-sufficiency. 

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The Runaway & Homeless Youth Program (RHYP) provides a wide variety of services to youth in need. These services include: temporary shelter, individual counseling, family counseling, outreach, case management, and a 24-hour help-line. The RHYP relies on over 60 volunteers annually to help provide these services to youth and their families. Volunteers receive 40 hours of training over a four week period before they are able to support clients. Every year, Briarpatch volunteers provide more than 10,000 hours towards this RHYP.

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