- 1981 -

Milwaukee's Central City Churches begin to press for a community-based solution to the growing number of people experiencing homelessness in the inner city.


- 1982 -

Milwaukee County agrees to allow for the use of the former hospital emergency lobby at 24th and Wisconsin Streets to be used as an emergency shelter. Later that year, the Central City Churches and Community Advocates negotiate for the current facility at 1216 N. 13th Street when the Friedens United Church of Christ, which owned the building, closes its doors.


- 1983 through 1987 -

Efforts include opening an overflow facility at the Department of Corrections building in Franklin, as well as opening the city's first daytime drop-in shelter on Vliet Street.


- 1991 -

The Guest House expands its facility, adding office spaces and the Keller Center, allowing all services to be provided on-site, including education and health care.


- 1996 -

A partnership with Milwaukee County creates the Resident Manager (RM) Program, through which guests are trained to staff Safe Havens for people experiencing homelessness and living with mental illness.


- 1999 -

The RM program expands and wins a national best-practices award as one of the most successful anti-homelessness initiatives in the United States.


- 2006 -

The Guest House regains its financial footing and partners with Marquette University to house Alcohol and Other Drug Addiction (AODA) and mental health counseling services on-site, dramatically improving the success for guests struggling with addiction and living with mental illness. The Guest House  acquires Open Gate assets when that residential treatment program closes. In 2006, the Guest House was awarded its first permanent housing contract.


- 2007 -

Public support surges following a front-page feature in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in late December 2006 declaring the Guest House programs "serve as a lesson in how to do what so many people said was nearly impossible." Over 100 community partners, former guests, and staff attend the 25th Anniversary Kickoff Event.


- 2008 -

The Guest House partners with Heartland Alliance Housing to build the Prairie Apartments, a 24 unit apartment building on Highland Avenue, renewing our commitment to transitioning people from homelessness to supportive housing, pushing the number of  individuals served by the Guest House in permanent housing programs to 100.


- 2009 -

The Prairie Apartments open, and all 24 units are immediately occupied. The Guest House is awarded two new contracts, adding more scattered-site apartment units for formerly homeless individuals and families, bringing the number of total supportive apartments to 231.


- 2010 -

LEADS for Vets transitional housing program is implemented through a partnership with the Veteran's Administration (VA). The Guest House Counseling Clinic receives certification  from the State of Wisconsin to do outpatient treatment. Additionally, the Guest House adds a full-time Employment Specialist to the staff to provide guests with job coaching, employment classes, and to assist in job searching and making connections with employers.


- 2011 -

The Cream City Gardens program begins with 45 raised garden beds on vacant lots across 13th Street, providing guests with job training in agriculture and the green industry, and adding fresh produce to our volunteer meal program. The Capuchin Apartments open--a collaboration between St. Ben's and Heartland Alliance Housing--and the Guest House contracts to provide supportive services for the 36 unit apartment building, bringing our number of supportive housing units to 269.


- 2012 -

The Guest House of Milwaukee celebrates 30 years of erasing homelessness! We develop and implement the GATES case-management program, a short-term program geared at moving lower need individuals through our programs and back into permanent housing more quickly, so we can serve more people. Additionally, we begin the Community Outreach Case Management program which provides assistance to individuals and families on the verge of homelessness, preventing their becoming homeless.


- 2013 -

The Cream City Gardens expands to one full acre of garden beds, both raised beds and rows in the ground, and produces over 1800 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables for the Guest House, our neighbors, and the Friedens Community Pantry.


- 2014 -

The Guest House secures a federal contract to provide permanent supportive housing using recovery support specialists and peer specialists. This new program pushes the number of permanent housing units over 300!


- 2015 -

The Guest House continues to expand, welcoming the addition of 8,000 square feet to better accommodate our guests, volunteers and staff. The expansion and renovation, which is was completed in 2016, will include a commercial-grade kitchen, expanded dorm space, a  welcoming entrance and an environment where our guests can feel at home!


We also made significant progress toward our 2.6 million dollar goal for our capital campaign, thanks to our many generous donors!


- 2016-


After years of hard work, patience and flexibility, we are thrilled that our 8,000 square foot expansion and renovation is finally complete! Our new and improved space allows us to serve our guests in the most dignified way possible.


The new Guest House has space to help more people receive services with dignity and be independent and housed. The renovation provides expanded restroom and dorm space, added kitchen space and equipment, private meeting rooms, expanded space for our counseling clinic, and more!





- Men's t-shirts, size 2XL and 3XL, new

- Body Wash

- Disposable Razors

- Men's underwear, sizes S - 3XL, new

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"I asked myself, 'Tyrone, do you love yourself?' and the people here helped me change the things about my life that were all wrong. But it all started when I began to love myself."

           - Tyrone P. commenting on his graduation


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© 2018 Guest House of Milwaukee | 1216 N 13th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53205 | 414-345-3240