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New Courage MKE property offers supported independent living for LGBTQ+ young adults

"If they don't have family or if they have nowhere to go, they end up a lot of times on the streets," Schlaikowski said.
Posted at 5:03 PM, Jan 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-13 18:18:03-05

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee non-profit will soon have a new way to help LGBTQ+ young adults in their journey to live independently.

In 2019, Courage MKE opened a group home for displaced youth under the age of 17. Executive Director Brad Schlaikowski said it was through that experience that they learned how much of a need there was for young adults who are homeless or aging out of the social welfare system.

"If they don't have family or if they have nowhere to go, they end up a lot of times on the streets," Schlaikowski said.

C2 apartments last walk-thru

Courage MKE's newest property, located near Walker's Point, can house up to 7 LGBTQ+ young adults between the ages of 18-24 in a dorm-like setting. The team will spend this year transforming the space into the C2 Apartments.

"This will open at the end of 2023. The previous owners did an amazing renovation to it, but we just need to make a few tweaks to make it exactly what we want," Schlaikowski said.

In addition to private rooms, the building will have shared spaces where people can hang out or cook together if they want. The idea is to encourage a sense of community and support.

C2 apartments final walk-thru

This space will be the first of its kind. Courage MKE is working with the Ali Forney Center which serves homeless LGBTQ+ youth in New York City.

"This will give the kids the opportunity to start. Their young adult lives with other people that they can always count on for hopefully the rest of their lives," Schlaikowski explained.

Residents in school will not have to pay to stay at the site. The ones who are working will have a percentage of their paycheck go toward funding a security deposit for them to use when they are ready to move on.

"I'm feeling a lot of excitement, is probably the biggest one, but gratitude is probably the ultimate feeling right now. We would not be here without the amount of support without our donors and Courage family," Schlaikowski said. "This will be another house that love built."

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