By: Dean C. Bossenbroek
"Kids at work: Madison is investing in youth employment to address disparities and crime" - The Capital Times, September 2016
"Homeless youth face peril on the streets" - Wisconsin State Journal, July 2016
"Carts for Community enters second year of offering internships"- The Capital Times, May 2016
"Madison faith groups mobilize to fight human trafficking locally" - The Capital Times, January 2016
"Reducing the homeless rate of local children" - NBC15 WMTV, November 2015
"Digging Deeper: Inside the unseen issue of teen homelessness" - ABC27 WKOW, October 2015
"First shelter in Dane County for homeless and runaway teens to open Thursday" - Wisconsin State Journal, September 2015
"Briarpatch begins sheltering homeless youth at its facility" - The Capital Times, September 2015
"New homeless shelter 'step in the right direction' for local organization" - The Badger Herald, September 2015
"Briarpatch uses AFFW dollars to help young adults transition to independence"- A Fund for Women, May 2015
By: Dean Bossenbroek
Listening to six teenagers talk about their experience working for Briarpatch’s Madison Street Team (MST) during the summer of 2016 is kind of like turning on the Letterman Show expecting Madonna to talk about her latest pop-icon endeavors. Instead of providing another vanilla answer to what it was like working with her current collaborator, the next thing you know, Madonna starts describing how she battles foot fungus by peeing on her feet in the shower. It’s real. It’s honest. It’s intriguing. It’s a non sequitur.
The particular group of MST participants I spoke with in August began dutifully answering my questions about their summer employment highlights and lowlights. In addition to the traditional MST work of picking up trash on the streets of Madison, they spent the majority of their summer assisting custodial staff at various Madison Public Schools with building scouring. Their supervisors, Bryce and Selena, were also in attendance. It was the last week of MST programming, and they were celebrating with pizza. The kids names below have been changed; their responses are real.