Courage MKE purchases property for LGBTQ+ youth in Walker's Point
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Local nonprofit Courage MKE just purchased property near the Walker's Point neighborhood.
The goal is to provide shelter for LGBTQ+ young adults ages 18-24 who are homeless or aging out of the welfare system.
"We found that when they age out of the social welfare system, there's very little resources available to them. So, the second they turn 18, if they don't get accepted into an independent living program or they don't have family members, the choices are very slim and the fear is that they become homeless," Courage MKE Executive Director Brad Schlaikowski said.
The C2 Apartments are the first of its kind in Wisconsin.
They will be staffed 24/7 with trauma-informed landlords who will help teach daily living skills, budgeting and cooking.
"The staff here is just meant to be that safety net," Schlaikowski said.
Residents working on their high school diploma or GED will not have to pay rent. Those who've graduated and have a job will be asked to pay a small percentage of their salary, which will be returned to them when they leave.
"We continue to save that so when they do move out, it becomes a nest egg or perhaps a security deposit for their own apartment," Schlaikowski said.
The apartments will be undergoing some renovations throughout this spring and summer, with the goal of opening next winter.
Under current plans, the C2 Apartments will be able to serve as a home for seven young adults.
Courage MKE Program Director Jean Northway said, in part, "Most independent living apartments are just that – living alone. We envision common living areas to unwind together, watch TV together, and cook meals together. Especially for young adults who have been told that who they are is not ok, being around other people who “get it’ is comforting. We don’t just want our youth housed–our youth deserve to feel safe and supported at home.”
If you'd like to help furnish the complex, you can make a donation at give.couragemke.org.