Established in 1982 by area churches, the Guest House started out with humble beginnings, serving as a drop-in center primarily for people who were homeless. Today Guest House offers a comprehensive slate of services that include housing, education, substance abuse treatment and pre-employment preparation.
The Guest House of Milwaukee, Inc. provides shelter, housing, education and services to Milwaukee’s homeless who seek to transform their lives with dignity and purpose. While the Guest House continues to provide emergency shelter for about 86 individuals each night of the year, today the agency also focuses on education, training, case management and treatment aspects associated with eradicating homelessness—not just for men, but also women. In addition, today Guest House can better serve this population because of its 230-scatter site permanent housing units.
Besides providing a warm, safe place to sleep, the Guest House emergency shelter also provides meals, hygiene supplies and facilities, storage for belongings and a mail and message service. And, in an effort to fully address the problems that led to a person’s homelessness, Guest House seeks to connect individuals with resources, jobs and permanent housing so that, ultimately, they can depart with independence.
On an annual basis, Guest House serves between 600-700 men through its transitional housing program. Each man is assessed by a staff professional and given an individual plan for independence, based on his specific strengths and needs. Men are able to participate in the transitional housing program as long as they are making progress toward achieving their goals, up to a maximum of two years.
The Guest House also operates scattered-site supportive permanent housing for people who are homeless with disabilities. Participants in this program have very significant barriers to independence and therefore require long-term support to maintain an apartment in the community. In addition to a fully furnished unit or apartment, each client receives intensive case management, food and transportation subsidies.
Guest House has earned a reputation for treating individuals who are down on their luck with dignity, care and compassion. Recognizing that there are a myriad of reasons for homelessness, Guest House has earned a reputation for being a good neighbor to those who need a hand up.