Strengthening the Lives of Youth and Families

Briarpatch Youth Services, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization that has been helping homeless and runaway youth in Dane County since 1971. We’re dedicated to providing innovative services that strengthen and improve the lives of youth, their families, and our community.

Briarpatch Youth Services provides innovative services dedicated to strengthening and improving the lives of youth, their families, and our community.

Founded in 1971, Briarpatch Youth Services has a long and distinguished history of providing quality services to youth in need. The agency serves adolescent-aged youth and their families throughout Dane County at no cost to them. With the support of more than 100 volunteers, Briarpatch services approximately 2,000 at-risk and court-involved youth every year. We are a 501(c)3 tax-exempt, non-profit organization formed through the merger of Briarpatch and Community Adolescent Programs (CAP) on July 1, 2003.

In July 2013, after a two year search for a property to serve as our new headquarters, the agency purchased a vacant parcel of land at 2720 Rimrock Road in Madison. Located near bus lines, bike paths, and easily accessible to major thoroughfares, the location combined accessibility and affordability. It offered the opportunity to create a purpose built facility designed to suit the unique needs of Briarpatch’s diverse client population and broad array of programs.

Taking advantage of historically low interest rates and a favorable construction climate, Briarpatch laid the foundations for our new facility a few months later. The building has almost twice the square footage as the agency’s previous location and expands training space for the agency’s 60 plus volunteers. Larger meeting rooms better accommodate our services for runaway and homeless youth, our Teens Like Us support group for LGBTQ youth group, and our youth employment program. And every agency program has benefited from up-to-date technology.


Perhaps most exciting, the new building has room for an 8-bed shelter to serve runaway and homeless youth – a service that does not currently exist in Dane County. 

No other organization helps homeless youth like Briarpatch does. And now, we’re taking a big step forward to help these youth even more, by opening the first-ever facility in Dane County dedicated to providing temporary shelter to homeless youth ages 13-17.


City of Madison   Count of Dane County  United Way