"Walker's Point saved my life"
In December 2021, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued an advisory highlighting the “urgent need to address the nation’s youth mental health crisis,” calling for a swift and coordinated national response in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic’s “unprecedented impacts on the mental health of America’s youth and families, as well as the mental health challenges that existed long before the pandemic.” This year we're focused on raising funds to expand our staff roster to respond to the increased demand for mental health providers.
For 46 years Walker's Point has provided 24-hour crisis counseling and temporary emergency shelter to young people in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We serve young people ages 11 through 17 years old, offering a safe haven, food, clothing, and a friendly face.
We also offer mental health services with licensed therapists to these young people and their parents, through individual and family counseling, to address the problems that led to their crisis. We serve around 215 young people in shelter and offer free counseling to an additional 120 young people who are not seeking shelter. There are few barriers to seek these services. We do not require insurance and there are no fees for service. We currently have two licensed therapists on staff and we are seeking to expand our staff in order to do more community outreach.
Roughly 96% of youth leave our shelter program to return home or go to a safe alternative home. 89% report feeling better able to cope with the problem that caused them to seek services. 93% developed new or strengthened relationships with at least one caring adult. Parents also report feeling strengthened as a result of the program -
"We were able to have time away from each other while working on our issues separately.”
"I didn't have to worry if my son was safe.”
For older youth who are chronically transient or homeless we also provide a longer-term transitional living program that includes housing and supportive services to help them lead a less risky life-style and attain greater self-sufficiency. Last year all of these youth were in safe and stable living at time of their exit from the program.
"It taught me how to be independent and how to manage and live day-by-day without really struggling." (Transitional Housing Program resident)
In all of our programs for troubled youth, Walker's Point Youth & Family Center offers shelter, safety and understanding to help them solve their problems and find more stability in their lives. In the words of another past shelter resident...
"I just really want to convey from the bottom of my heart how much I really appreciate all of the staff, residents, volunteers, and the entire Walker's Point program for helping me in this difficult period in my life."