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, our shelter has eight beds and welcomes youths of all gender identities ages 12-17. There are an estimated 300 youth in Dane County who are homeless every night. This shelter was created to help these youth get off the streets and provide them with a safe place and services to succeed. Aside from providing shelter, we offer individual counseling, family counseling, case management and a 24-hour help line.

 


 2020 Impact:

  • 56 youth received shelter with assessment, counseling, and case management services
  • 557 nights of safe housing were provided in our youth shelter
  • 100% of youth attended school while in shelter

 

Read more ...

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

Read more ...

The Teens Like Us Program (TLU) provides support and education for queer youth ages 13-18. Founded over 20 years ago, TLU provides a safe, brave place for queer and questioning youth to meet with their peers. We serve youth across the state of Wisconsin!

Youth do NOT need parent/guardian permission to join Teens Like Us. We understand not all youth are at a point in their lives where they can safely and confidently "come out." 

 

GROUPS & SERVICES:

  • Teens Like Us Support Group: 
    • This group is for queer and questioning youth ages 13 through end of high school. The group is a "chill" space for youth to support one another, make new friends, socialize, and engage in casually structured activities and meet guest speakers from the community. Our groups meet every Wednesday from 5:30-7:30pm. (Currently we will be in-person every-other-week, and send out weekly emails to let youth know if the meeting will be virtual or in-person.)  To ensure the safety and confidentiality of all who join our group, we only provide the Zoom link directly to the group members. Before we can give youth the Zoom link or the address of where we meet in-person, we just need the youth to fill out a quick intake poll.  All the information we gather will remain confidential.  Youth can fill out the intake form at the following link: TLU YOUTH INTAKE
    • Please note that MASKS ARE REQUIRED at all in-person TLU groups and events, as we strive to be inclusive of folks who are immunocompromised. We also ask that group members do not attend if they are feeling sick (even "just a cold"), or if there is Covid-19 in their homes.
    • Please direct any and all questions via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

  • Parents/Guardians of Queer/Questioning Youth Support Group
    • Supporting our kids means supporting their parents and caregivers! This group provides an opportunity for parents/guardians/aunts/uncles/grandparents to ask questions and learn in a judgement-free space. Your youth does NOT need to be a Teens Like Us member for you to join. Groups are drop-in style, and meet the 2nd Tuesday of the month on Zoom.  To inquire and get the Zoom link, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

  • Briar-Attire Gender Affirming Clothing Program
    • Need gender affirming clothing (binders, gaffs, etc.) but you can’t afford them or you aren’t “out”? We can help! Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more! 
    • Have gently used binders that you are looking to give a second life? We accept donations! Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to connect!
    • Our favorite online shop for binders, gaffs, swimwear, and more is Origami Customs. They can also make custom sizes at no extra charge! They also have great resources to teach you how to measure yourself for the best fitting garment, and how to practice safe binding and tucking. Check them out here:  https://origamicustoms.com/

 

CONTACT FACILITATORS:

  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Instagram: @Teens_Like_Us
  • Or, for more information call 608.245.2550 Ext. 1302

What people have to say about Teens Like Us: 

“TLU has created an amazing open space for me to share and ask for help, and also to support my peers. It's a wonderful space not only for support, but also for sharing joy.” 

 

“It has definitely been an environment that has allowed me to be/express myself. They've supported me through a lot of bad times and has supported me even outside of TLU. They've offered me resources like binders and packers (which is awesome). It’s also allowed me to grow my communication and leadership skills.” 

 

“I was so excited to find this group because I had never met another trans person in real life and it was such a relief and so liberating to find that here were people like me in my local area.” 

 

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. 

Currently, the RHY Program has a two month waitlist for individual and family counseling services. If counseling services are needed and two month wait time is too long, please contact the Behavioral Health Resource Center at 608.267.2244 to explore other counseling options in the Dane County area. Crisis related to mental health concerns should call Journey Mental Health at 608.280.2600. Thank you for your patience and understanding. For the waitlist, please call our Helpline at 608.251.1126.

Intakes for our emergency youth shelter remain accessible 24/7. 

 

Read more ...

The Parent Support Program is currently holding virtual group meetings. The group meetings are held the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month from 6-8 pm. For virtual meeting instructions, please email the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

The Parent Support Program services are designed to assist concerned parents and caregivers of a youth or young adult experiencing one or more of the following challenges: 

  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Mental health challenges
  • Truancy and academic problems
  • Chronic runaway behaviors
  • Physical violence and abusive behaviors
  • Self-harm and cutting
  • Parent/child conflict
  • Difficulty with interpersonal relationships

 To learn more about parenting challenges, the following resources offer some immediate support:

https://www.samhsa.gov/underage-drinking/parent-resources

https://www.nctsn.org/what-is-child-trauma/about-child-trauma

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/protective/positiveparenting.htm

https://rhyclearinghouse.acf.hhs.gov/

 Case Management

Short-term case management services offered to address parent/youth conflict.

  • Consultation
  • Brief family counseling
  • Referrals and resources 

For more information call 608.245.2550, ext. 1230 or email the Program Coordinator This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..