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Since 1971, the Runaway & Homeless Youth Program has helped more than 10,000 youth in need.  One of Briarpatch’s core services, the program serves approximately 250 youth and families each year.  

Our new Youth Shelter is now open!

Shelter Location:  2720 Rimrock Road, Madison, WI  53713 (6 blocks south of the beltline)

Hours of Operation:  24 hours per day/365 days per year

Number of Beds:  Eight (8)

Eligibility Criteria:

·         Runaway and homeless youth

·         Youth at-risk of separation from their family (due to family conflict or other reasons)

·         Ages 13 – 17

·         All gender identities welcome

Length of Stay:  1 – 28 days

Services Provided:  Assessment, counseling, case management, food, clothing as needed, and assistance with finding safe and stable housing

Contact and Referral Information:

·         Call 608-251-1126 or 800-798-1126 to check bed availability

·         Admissions accepted 24/7/365

·         Transportation to the shelter is available as needed

·         Please call if you have any questions about the shelter

The Runaway & Homeless Youth Program offers counseling, outreach, mediation, support and case management assistance.  Child abuse/neglect, alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence, mental health concerns, homelessness, and juvenile crime are just some of the issues with which we deal.  Licensed by the State of Wisconsin as a Child Welfare/Child Placing Agency, Briarpatch provides youth in need of temporary housing with shelter in licensed volunteer host-homes.

There are three main components to the Runaway & Homeless Youth Program:

Temporary Shelter - Briarpatch maintains a system of licensed volunteer host homes for teens in need of temporary shelter.  If a teen faces an unsafe home environment, is a runaway, or has lost housing, these volunteer homes provide shelter until the situation can be resolved.  Briarpatch also works with other agencies to ensure that temporary and emergency housing is available 24 hours a day.

Counseling & Support - Briarpatch provides individual, group, and family counseling to youth and families in need. Our counseling team also helps youth and young adults find emergency shelter and both temporary and permanent housing as necessary. The agency also provides a variety of services to support runaway and homeless youth including employment related programming and assistance with accessing medical care, dental care, and other needed services.

24-Hour Counseling - Trained volunteer counselors and staff operate a 24-hour help-line to help youth handle pressing needs involving personal safety, mental health problems, housing and other vital concerns.  Toll free 1-800 numbers are available to those in outlying rural areas. 

Service accessibility is a top priority for the Runaway & Homeless Youth Program.  All services are provided at no cost to clients.  The program is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year though our help-line (1-800-798-1126).  In Dane County, counseling services are available on a walk-in basis, 9am to 9pm, Monday through Friday.   

Yout Services Sponsors