Established in 1969, Journey House is rooted in the philosophy that “Education is a Family Journey.” The organization embodies that philosophy in its mission statement and through its programs and services. Its mission is “working with the community utilizing a self-help philosophy in order to increase education, reduce unemployment and crime, strengthen families, and revitalize neighborhoods.”
From the very beginning, Journey House has served families in Milwaukee’s Clarke Square Neighborhood, on the near Southside. It was started when a VISTA volunteer worked with neighborhood parents to establish the “Happy Moon Journey House” – a safe place where community youth could get away from urban and peer pressures. Although it started with meager beginnings—a fledgling facility that housed tables for ping-pong and pool, a soda machine, and plenty of open space for local volunteers to lead the kids through engaging activities such as artwork, leather crafts, and photography—today Journey House has become one of Milwaukee’s premiere and successful nonprofit organizations.
Since developing and providing programs and services to the community for more than 41 years, Journey House has earned a strong reputation within and beyond its target neighborhood. Evidence of its acceptability and value in the community include Journey House’s consistent neighborhood approval for agency programs, widespread word-of-mouth publicity, and an extensive network of local partners.
Journey House is poised to carry out its community work as a result of strong partnerships, careful fiscal and managerial oversight, and a highly regarded history in its target community. Journey House is a community-based opportunity oasis where men, women, and children on Milwaukee’s diverse near South Side can build vital skills and reach their goals through a myriad of programming including Adult Education, Community Learning Centers, Youth Athletics, Youth Leadership and the Urban Careers Institute (UCI). The UCI offers individuals an opportunity explore viable career options, while training and preparing for various career paths, including customer service and office technology.
Journey House may have started as a place to hang out, but with tenacity, vision and lots of sweat equity, the agency has become a fine-tuned haven of hope, second chances and opportunities for neighbors in the hood.