Strengthening the Lives of Youth and Families

The $3.1 million goal.

The Briarpatch Youth Shelter will be the first of its kind in Dane County.

Homelessness among young people is a serious problem in our community. Couch-surfing, sleeping in cars, staying with unsafe strangers – it’s estimated that approximately 300 Madison youth live that life every night.

Unaccompanied homeless youth are youth under the age of 18 who are not being cared for by a parent, guardian, legal custodian, or foster parent. These youth are at higher risk for physical abuse, sexual exploitation, mental health problems, substance abuse, and death. It is estimated that 5,000 unaccompanied youth die each year as a result of assault, illness, or suicide.

Briarpatch Youth Services is committed to bring a shelter for runaway and homeless youth to Dane County. This eight bed shelter will be part of the agency’s services for runaway and homeless youth, ages 13-17. The agency’s new headquarters at 2720 Rimrock Road in Madison includes space for the Briarpatch Youth Shelter as well as room for the agency’s other services for youth and families.

We seek to raise $3.1 million to help open and fund ongoing operations of the shelter, and to retire the mortgage on our new building. Retiring the mortgage will free up $120,000 per year for services to youth and families. Currently, $1.146 million has been raised from individuals, foundations, and corporations.

One of the most significant gaps in services for unaccompanied runaway and homeless youth in Dane County is the lack of temporary shelter. The Briarpatch Youth Shelter will have the following primary objectives:

·         Provide a safe, non-judgmental environment for youth to get off the streets

·         Conduct a comprehensive assessment to identify each youth’s needs and connect them with resources to meet those needs

·         Help youth re-connect with school or other educational opportunities

·         Assist youth with finding employment as applicable

·         Assist youth in returning home or with developing a plan for obtaining other safe long-term housing

·         Prevent youth from developing a long-term pattern of homelessness

Yes, our goal is to raise $3.1 million for the building. But more importantly, your contributions will help provide youth with safe, temporary shelter, and give them the path to prevent them from developing a long- term pattern of homelessness.

Click here to see how you can help today.

Capital Campaign Cabinet Members

Mark Meloy, Chair
First Business Bank

Holly Cremer Berkenstadt
Community Leader

Matt C. Hill
Briarpatch Youth Services, Board of Directors

Emily Litznerski Foster
Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek

Audrey Polencheck
First Business Bank

Kate Reilly
Briarpatch Youth Services, Board of Directors

Jennifer Savino
KW2 (Knupp Watson & Wallman)


Briarpatch Youth Services Board of Directors

Joan Provencher, J. Provencher HR Services, Chair | David S. Jugovich, Madison Police Department, Vice-Chair | Karen Bailey, Volunteer Representative | Alex Chin, Youth Representative | Benjamin Gonring, State of WI Public Defender | Jerry Johnson, Madison Police Department | Matt C. Hill, BMO Harris Bank | Kate Reilly, UW Environmental Resources | Penny Simmons, Common Threads



City of Madison   Count of Dane County  United Way