Strengthening the Lives of Youth and Families

Read and download frequently asked questions about Briarpatch's Shelter Campaign: “Giving Homeless Youth a Chance”

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  1. Why did you build before completing a capital campaign?
    • We were unable to renew our lease
    • The Rimrock Road property was available at an affordable price
    • Interest rates and construction costs were low

  2. How were you able to afford a new building without doing a capital campaign?
    When we sold the former Briarpatch property on East Washington Avenue, our Board of Directors designated the proceeds from that sale for future facility needs. These funds were used to purchase the land and make a down payment on the building. The result: we lowered our annual facility costs.

  3. Why do you need to raise money and do a capital campaign now?
    Our fundraising campaign has two primary goals: 1) secure funds to help open and operate the Briarpatch Youth Shelter and 2) pay-off our mortgage. Paying off the mortgage will free-up $120,000 per year that can we can use to provide services to youth and families.

  4. Doesn’t Briarpatch already have a shelter?
    No, Briarpatch has never had a shelter for runaway and homeless youth and there has never been a shelter of this type in Dane County. Briarpatch can currently offer youth just 1-2 nights in a volunteer foster home. This often does not meet the needs of homeless youth.

  5. Why do we need a youth shelter now if we’ve gotten along without one for all these years?
    • The number of homeless youth is increasing every year
    • Today’s homeless youth are at greater risk than ever for things like sexual exploitation
    • Approximately 5,000 homeless youth in the U.S. die each year due to assault, illness, or suicide

  6. If the need for a youth shelter is so great, why only 8 beds?
    The youth shelter will be licensed by the state as a group home and licensing regulations limit the number of beds to 8.

  7. Does your new facility have space for a youth shelter?
    Yes – the building has space for an eight (8) bed shelter for runaway and homeless youth. The building also has twice as much space to serve youth and families than our previous location.

  8. How much will it cost to operate the youth shelter?
    We estimate annual operating costs at $400,000 or $137 per day per youth.

  9.  Why does it cost so much to operate the shelter?
    • The shelter will be open 24/7/365 with 2 counselors on duty at all times
    • This requires the equivalent of 9.5 full-time staff members
    • Approximately 80% of operating expenses will be for staff

  10. Why do you need to raise money for the youth shelter if it’s already open (or opening October 1st)?
    Funds raised during the campaign will be used to help open the shelter and to pay for some shelter operating expenses during the first 3 years. In order to secure additional funds needed for ongoing operations, the shelter needs to be open.

  11. Why did you choose the Rimrock Road site instead of a site closer to downtown Madison?
    We spent two (2) years looking for suitable property. Property in downtown Madison is too expensive and the dozens of other properties we looked at did not meet our needs for various reasons. Our new home on Rimrock Road has many positives: we’re just 6 blocks from the beltline, we’re on a City of Madison bus line, and we’re centrally located from an east-west perspective.

City of Madison   Count of Dane County  United Way