For many young people, maps to guide them to a successful future are often difficult to find. Choosing the right path is a challenge. Wrong turns happen. Detours are not uncommon.

For youth confronted by crisis and trauma, it can seem like no one cares and that there are few role models to show them the way. At Pathfinders, we empower youth and young adults by providing them with emotional support, resources for basic needs, and tangible tools for a fresh start. Our team of 70 employees and over 120 volunteers work together to reassure them that they matter, so that they can change the direction of their lives.

We understand that real change, especially for youth in crisis, starts from within.

Our Services

Emergency Youth Shelter
Drop-In Center
Street Outreach
Prevention Education Programs
Southeastern Education Center
Rosalie Center for Family Engagement


As holidays approach, Senate leaves kids out in the cold

Washington, DC: As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, Congress stands to decide whether to help America’s homeless youth or leave them out in the cold, said the National Network for Youth, the nation’s leading network of homeless youth community based service providers, advocates and allies. For 40 years federally-funded runaway and homeless youth programs have been providing critical services to youth all across America. Now, Congress is dithering on S. 2646, the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act, a reauthorization with updates to further protect our vulnerable youth people which should immediately be passed.

Click here for full press release.

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday!


We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization
to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join
us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.

Watch the #GivingTuesday 2014 Video to learn more.



Thank you for joining us at FACES OF THE FUTURE!!   If you missed the event, and would like to support our programs for youth in crisis, please click here. 

Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act Passes Through Senate Judiciary Committee

On September 18, 2014, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted S. 2646, the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (RHYTPA) out of committee with a very strong vote, 15 ayes and 3 nays. RHYTPA was introduced in the Senate on July 23, 2014 by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME). RHYTPA reauthorizes the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) (42 U.S.C. 5701 et seq.) which is celebrating its 40th year anniversary this year and was last reauthorized in 2008.

Click here for the full article.


Pathfinders has recently been notified that several individuals have been seen soliciting cash donations for Pathfinders at public locations. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT PATHFINDERS HAS NOT AUTHORIZED THIS ACTIVITY! If you discover anyone soliciting cash donations in this manner, please contact us directly at development@pathfindersmke.org or 414-964-2565. To ensure your donations go to help youth in crisis served by Pathfinders, please visit our website at www.pathfindersmke.org.

Founding SYFS Executive Director John “Jack” Molenaar passes away

John MolenaarIt is with deep sadness that we have learned that John “Jack” Molenaar, founding Executive Director of Southeastern Youth & Family Services, passed away on Monday, September 15, 2014 after a year-long battle with multiple myeloma.

He retired from Southeastern in June 2010 after 37 years of dedication and leadership since Southeastern’s inception in 1973.  Under John’s leadership, dedicated Southeastern staff served well over 5,500 children, at-risk youth and their families. Throughout the years he remained committed to Southeastern’s caring approach through its motto: “Children are Our Concern”. Without John’s compassion and concern the lives of many young people would be a lot different today! Our condolences go out to his family.

John’s legacy in our community lives on through Southeastern’s merger with Pathfinders in 2012 and the continuation of our middle school, Southeastern Education Center.

“How do you sleep at night?”


Do you remember the lifelike images of sleeping homeless teens attached to billboards, bus shelters and storefronts several years ago? And the jarring messages?

“While you’re warm in bed, remember hundreds of teens aren’t.”

“Maybe more teens would have a safe place to sleep if the rest of us woke up.”

“Someone who is homeless and trying to survive on the street is an image that is very compelling,” says Tim Baack, Pathfinders Interim President/CEO. “Our campaign included a lot of powerful imagery, which is one of the best ways to capture people’s attention.”

Disruptive Forces In Action: Branding Causes, Not Organizations, just published by the Alliance for Children & Families, discusses how Pathfinders continues to benefit from the exposure of a 2008 marketing campaign, created by Serve Marketing, that was branded by the cause and not the organization.

Pathfinders continues to provide services to thousands of homeless teens in Milwaukee every year who require basic needs, emotional support, and tools for success. Click here to learn how you can help.



4200 North Holton St.
Suite 400
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414-964-2565
Fax: 414-964-0102
TDD: 414-964-4633
Drop-In Center
4200 North Holton St.
Suite 400
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414-964-2565
Fax: 414-964-0102
TDD: 414-964-4633
Rosalie Center
4200 North Holton St.
Suite 400
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414-964-2565
Fax: 414-964-0102
TDD: 414-964-4633
Youth Shelter

1614 East Kane Pl.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: 414-271-1560
Fax: 414-271-1831
Education Center

225 W. Capitol Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414-875-9452
Fax: 414-875-9004