Courage MKE

Courage MKE Courage MKE empowers today’s LGBTQ+ youth to become tomorrow’s leaders
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Courage MKE was founded in August 2015 and has a mission to raise funds and awareness for LGBTQ+ youth In Milwaukee, Wisconsin ensuring they have the skills, tools and resources needed to grow into successful leaders throughout the community. Our three main focuses are: • Working to open and sustain “The Courage House”. A drop in shelter with onsite support for any LGBTQ youth that has suffered mental or physical abuse has no means to support themselves or needs a place to call home temporarily. • Community outreach through local high school Gay Straight Alliances. This is one of our proactive approaches to reach out to at-risk children. We work with our community partners through safe sex education, substance abuse support and overcoming day to day challenges to ensure these children do not end up on the streets. • Encouraging and supporting post high school education. We have established the Dawn Bloomfield Scholarship Fund. Each year through a written essay application, we will award high school seniors with scholarships to help with their post high school education.

Mission: Courage MKE fuels a collaborative movement to provide the resources LGBTQ+ youth need to thrive.

On June 28th, 1969, police raided The Stonewall Inn in NYC. The LGBTQ+ community had enough of the police brutality they...
06/04/2020

On June 28th, 1969, police raided The Stonewall Inn in NYC. The LGBTQ+ community had enough of the police brutality they were subjected to. Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major, Stormé DeLarverie, and others fought back which lit the torch for not only the Stonewall Riots but the start of a movement that changed the lives of our community .

Police brutality and racism are still alive and well. Our black siblings need our voice. In lieu of a pride parade this year we humbly ask for a peaceful walk down 2nd street to show the world we stand PROUDLY with them!

Please join us on June 28th, 2020 @4pm, at the corner of Lapham and 2nd Street. More details to come.

#Pride IS about #Equality This year pride month looks different than years past. Even without the incredible celebration...
06/04/2020

#Pride IS about #Equality

This year pride month looks different than years past. Even without the incredible celebrations we are used to it is important that we remember what pride really stands for. Pride is a celebration of who we are and all of the amazing things we have and will continue to accomplish together. We will always fight for what is right and we fight proudly next to our black siblings.
#blacklivesmatter

This awesome!   Get your order in tonight!!! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🤎🖤
06/02/2020

This awesome! Get your order in tonight!!! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🤎🖤

Due to an overwhelming amount of orders, our friends at Dunns Sporting Goods have agreed to get an early start on printing and shipping!

All orders placed before Midnight TONIGHT will be shipping ASAP! Head to www.IgniteTheSpiritMKE.org!

Can't order tonight? No big deal! You have until Sunday, June 14th before this PREORDER closes and is gone forever!

We are pumped at the response this order has gotten, and are so grateful for the impact you're helping to make on Ignite The Spirit-Milwaukee and Courage MKE!

Don't miss a rare opportunity to order the same shirt our Milwaukee Fire Department wears on the frontline!

#IgniteTheSpiritMKE

#SupportYOURFirefighters

#PrideMonth

#Pride ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🤎🖤
06/01/2020

#Pride
❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🤎🖤

Support local businesses! We had the opportunity to smell these candles this weekend and WOW.In fact, we have one burnin...
06/01/2020

Support local businesses! We had the opportunity to smell these candles this weekend and WOW.
In fact, we have one burning right now. Thank you to our friends Modern Makers Home and Bath for their generosity and support!!!

Help us celebrate Pride month + support a local organization doing great work for LGBTQ+ youth in Milwaukee! As a way to give back + support our community, we will donate $5 for every Pride + Courage candle sold during the month of June to Courage MKE!


Check out how Courage MKE supports LGBTQ+ youth and ways you can be involved (see the link in our bio!).

CONDRAGULATIONS Jaida Essence Hall!!!  You certainly deserve that crown!!!
05/30/2020

CONDRAGULATIONS Jaida Essence Hall!!! You certainly deserve that crown!!!

05/29/2020
Ignite The Spirit-Milwaukee

If you are interested in ordering the Milwaukee Fire Department Pride Shirt, click on Ignite The Spirit-Milwaukee’s page right here 👇🏽

Ignite the Spirit is a 501(c)(3) established to benefit Milwaukee Area First Responders and their families in times of need, such as injury or Illness.

05/29/2020
Wishing our Hometown Girl Jaida Essence Hall the best of luck tonight!   You’ve earned that crown!!!#DragRace
05/29/2020

Wishing our Hometown Girl Jaida Essence Hall the best of luck tonight! You’ve earned that crown!!!
#DragRace

Festivals and parades may not be happening this year. But, a special thank you to Miranda Kay Levy for helping us stay f...
05/28/2020

Festivals and parades may not be happening this year. But, a special thank you to Miranda Kay Levy for helping us stay festive during a very special announcement tomorrow with the Milwaukee Fire Department’s Ignite The Spirit-Milwaukee tomorrow! Come see us go live at 1:30pm tomorrow!! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🖤🤎

Family,It is with a caring and heavy heart that I feel it is time we all talk. We, at Courage MKE are vehemently disgust...
05/28/2020
For Our White Friends Desiring to Be Allies

Family,

It is with a caring and heavy heart that I feel it is time we all talk. We, at Courage MKE are vehemently disgusted by the murders, hate crimes and racism of our POC siblings in this country. We can no longer stand by without a call to action to protect and create real change. In order to do this, we need the support of each and every one of you as it is our responsibility and obligation to use our voice and actions to combat hate. Everyday, we work hard to improve the lives of the LGBTQ+ youth we serve and well, we are missing the mark by not protecting every aspect of their life especially when it comes to racism. We own that and that ends now.

It starts with educating ourselves. Often, we find that people are unsure of what to do in order to be a part of the change needed in our society. In the article below are a few of the many examples of what to do in order to help.

We hope you continue to join and support us as we ensure our LGBTQ+ youth are safe, healthy and protected. Together, we can change the injustices in our society by educating ourselves and loved ones. Together, we can use our voices to make change in our community and our country. We need to start contacting elected officials and calling out racism when we see it. Racism can no longer have a place at the table. In the last 4.5 years, this family has moved mountains to make change happen and we hope you continue to help us create change. We will be counting on you in the days, weeks, month and years to come.

#ProudlyTogether #SeeSomethingSaySomething #BlackLivesMatter

Brad Schlaikowski
Executive Director
Courage MKE

Ask when you don’t know — but do the work first.

To our amazing Courage MKE Family and Staff, tonight we had our first backyard campfire.   There will never be words to ...
05/22/2020

To our amazing Courage MKE Family and Staff, tonight we had our first backyard campfire. There will never be words to express our gratitude for your support and dedication to helping create memories like this for our residents. Hearts are full today. There was so much excitement in the house all day today!

Thank you Tywanda and Quincy for the inaugural campfire!!! ❤️

As we work through Covid 19 like the rest of our world, one of our residents decided he wants to help.    Knowing he wan...
05/21/2020

As we work through Covid 19 like the rest of our world, one of our residents decided he wants to help. Knowing he wants to be a Doctor in the future he decided he’d start with his CNA Certification.

We’d like to send so much love and appreciation to our friends and Courage Family members Jesse Mendelsohn and Dr Anthony Porcelli for sponsoring our first awarded scholarship of 2020 which will cover all costs for him to become certified. Jesse and Tony, thank you for supporting him in his journey and dreams. We are so lucky to have you in this family. ❤️❤️

Feel that SUN!!!!   We were so excited to be out of the house today.   Spent time painting a partition fence and tree st...
05/20/2020

Feel that SUN!!!! We were so excited to be out of the house today. Spent time painting a partition fence and tree stumps for our new fire pit in our backyard today. Tomorrow, we hang chalkboards!!

This is incredible.  It’s time to support those that have helped build us!     Full circle, TOGETHER we will will get th...
05/19/2020
View Giving Opportunity | My Watermark

This is incredible. It’s time to support those that have helped build us! Full circle, TOGETHER we will will get through this!!!

This is #CommunityHelpingCommunity. #ProudlyTogetherMKE

Courage MKE is helping raise funds for local Walker's Point neighborhood bars and restaurants impacted (shuttered) from stay at home directives due to COVID-19. These bars and restaurants hold events consistently throughout the year at their businesses to raise money for Courage MKE as the benefitin...

Congratulations to Miss Courage MKE 2016, Jaida Essence Hall for making it to the Grand Finale on RuPaul's Drag Race!   ...
05/16/2020

Congratulations to Miss Courage MKE 2016, Jaida Essence Hall for making it to the Grand Finale on RuPaul's Drag Race!

We are so proud of you. You give hope to do many LGBTQ+ youth around the world!!!

Jaida Essence Hall ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Great day for hiking the sand dunes and appreciating our Great Lake Michigan!!
05/15/2020

Great day for hiking the sand dunes and appreciating our Great Lake Michigan!!

A very special thank you to @OnMilwaukee, Molly Snyder and Bet-z Boenning for collaborating with us on this project!  #E...
05/08/2020
The Pride must go on: Your photos needed for EnCOURAGEment Project

A very special thank you to @OnMilwaukee, Molly Snyder and Bet-z Boenning for collaborating with us on this project!

#EnCOURAGEmentProject is meant to bring us together even when we cannot physically be together for PRIDE.

We would greatly appreciate it if all of you can help the project by submitting a photo AND sharing this post. Be creative, be YOU!!!

#ProudlyTogetherMKE

Stay tuned! We cannot wait for you to see this!!!

Pride Week is coming and we need your photos!

We were so excited to have a break from schoolwork and the food smelled so good we dove right in and started eating!! A ...
05/07/2020

We were so excited to have a break from schoolwork and the food smelled so good we dove right in and started eating!! A special thank you to WALKER'S PINT and Brass Monkey West Allis Pub & Grill for this amazing Lunch today!!!

We love being out in the community and seeing our stickers. Black Cat Alley brought some big smiles and inspiration to o...
05/06/2020

We love being out in the community and seeing our stickers. Black Cat Alley brought some big smiles and inspiration to our residents.

HUGE THANK YOU to Children's Wisconsin - Community Services for the bin full of games, art supplies and sports equipment...
05/05/2020

HUGE THANK YOU to Children's Wisconsin - Community Services for the bin full of games, art supplies and sports equipment! Our residents are excited for new activities during #SaferAtHome

Family,Regardless of how long we have been together, we simply would not have been able to accomplish what we’ve accompl...
05/04/2020
Home | Courage MKE

Family,

Regardless of how long we have been together, we simply would not have been able to accomplish what we’ve accomplished without all of your support. We are so proud to say that $9 of every $10 dollars donated goes directly to our programs.

Tomorrow is #GivingTuesdayNow where people around the world will unify in a global day of giving in response to COVID-19.

Since the start of this pandemic, like all of us, we had to make decisions to ensure those that we serve continue to be take care of. We have been able to ensure all of our employees continue to work and they are our HEROES for coming in every day.

We are so grateful for everyone that has reached out to offer support in so many ways.

With your help right now, we can ensure we continue to provide the excellent level of care we have been providing LGBTQ+ youth throughout our communities.

We hope all of you are safe and healthy and cannot wait to see you all and have the world’s largest hug fest!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Donations can be made right here through Facebook or via our website at:

​Collection drives can be organized independently or with our help and brought to our offices or the house by appointment.

Family, meet our family.   Gay Parent Magazine, thank you for allowing us to share our family with everyone.    Xavier, ...
05/02/2020

Family, meet our family. Gay Parent Magazine, thank you for allowing us to share our family with everyone.

Xavier, Brittany, Noah, Landon and Ivy, we are so proud to be your parents. You have all done so much to make Courage come to reality. Thank you all for believing, supporting and being part of Dad and Papa’s dream. We love you so much.

***NEW GAY PARENT MAGAZINE ISSUE***
Now available is our May-June 2020 issue #130
Read a digital copy FREE here https://www.gayparentmag.com/

While we were working on this issue, COVID-19 happened. All of the articles, except one, were written pre-pandemic—before life changed to Zoom computer screen images and face coverings. When you read this issue, we hope it brings you back to a time when life was more carefree.

May is National Foster Care Awareness Month and included in this issue is a listing of LGBTQ friendly foster care and adoption agencies and organizations that can assist in building and nurturing your family.

We also feature two stories of foster care and adoption: the Katis Huntington family located in Salt Lake City, Utah and the Schlaikowski family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Other family stories include Tara and Delia Guzman of California and Ricky Cortez of New Jersey.

For more details https://www.gayparentmag.com/digital-downloads/may-june-2020-issue-130-digital-download

#MayFosterCareMonth #LGBTQ Courage MKE Kiwanis LGBT+ Club of Southern California
Please Like/Follow Gay Parent Magazine's page--keeps us viable. Thnx.

Thank you Hamburger Mary's MKE for choosing us as your first #FeelGoodFridays lunch!   Our staff and residents will cert...
05/01/2020

Thank you Hamburger Mary's MKE for choosing us as your first #FeelGoodFridays lunch! Our staff and residents will certainly enjoy this fabulous lunch! We are loving all of the smiles!!! ❤️❤️

We’d also like to thank everyone that donates to Mary’s Feel Good Friday’s campaign!!!

Today we shipped out hugs by way of cards to Wisconsin area nursing homes this morning. Since they can't receive visitor...
04/28/2020

Today we shipped out hugs by way of cards to Wisconsin area nursing homes this morning. Since they can't receive visitors it must be tough to get through the days.

❤️❤️❤️ #ApartButTogether

Need masks?   Our family at WALKER'S PINT have you covered (pun possibly intended).    Thank you Betz and team for alway...
04/28/2020

Need masks? Our family at WALKER'S PINT have you covered (pun possibly intended). Thank you Betz and team for always thinking about us and others in the community!!! ❤️

Walker’s Pint masks
40 Red & White in stock.
Green and Black in production now
Both on sale soon.
Proceeds go to Courage mke & local charities.
*Stay posted for cost and when you can order.

04/27/2020
Hamburger Mary's MKE

#CommunityHelpingCommunity.

Sending our Family at Hamburger Mary's MKE the biggest THANK YOU and virtual hug.

Brandon, Ashley, Gary and team, we know this pandemic hasn’t been easy for your team. This campaign is just proof of your huge hearts and unwavering care for those in our community.

Courage Family, even if you cannot help this week, please follow their Feel Good Friday campaign as there are some pretty amazing organizations they will be supporting in the upcoming weeks.

We love you Hamburger Mary’s!!!!

Help us help others in need! It's Mary's new #feelgoodfriday meals! Every week we will provide meals for a worthy group. This week, we will provide lunch for Courage MKE... And we're asking our generous friends to pitch in whatever they can. Our goal is $200, and anything raised above that will be donated directly to Courage MKE. Helping others Feels Good! You can chip-in, by sending your donation via Venmo (mkemarys) or PayPal ([email protected]). No amount is too small, but if you are feeling generous, donate $30 or more and get a nifty Courage T-Shirt!

Hi Family!!  We are looking to pretty up our front fence with inspirational messages and color!   If you’ve found yarn, ...
04/22/2020

Hi Family!!

We are looking to pretty up our front fence with inspirational messages and color!

If you’ve found yarn, ribbon, flagging tape or other like items while you’ve been quarantined at ahome cleaning out closets, we’d absolutely take it off your hands!!!

If you have anything we can use it can be dropped off right at the house. 🙂 We want to respect social distancing so feel free to just drop off and go. ❤️

With the support from our extended Courage MKE family, Angie & Elizabeth Haws, our residents prepared 100 brown bag meal...
04/22/2020

With the support from our extended Courage MKE family, Angie & Elizabeth Haws, our residents prepared 100 brown bag meals for our community today.

#CommunityHelpsCommunity ❤️

04/22/2020
Hamburger Mary's MKE

Tune in to Hamburger Mary's MKE’s Facebook Live tonight at 7:30 as they raise money for our heroic First Responders!!! See link for details. Bingo play is not required. :)

BINGO returns to Hamburger 🍔 Mary’s this Wednesday... virtually, that is! And we’ll be playing for a Great cause... to provide gift certificates to Milwaukee’s First Responders!

Join Dear Ruthieand Sylvia Nyxxas they host Charity Ham-Bingo this Wednesday at 7:30... LIVE on our page!!

We’ll be accepting donations via our Venmo (mkemarys) and PayPal ([email protected]) accounts... and all donations will be MATCHED by our generous restaurant partners! donate $25, and $50 in gift certificates will be provided... donate $50, and we’ll be able to give $100 in GCs to first responders!

If you wanted to play (via Zoom), include “I wanna play” in your donation... full details can be found in our Facebook event page, below

https://facebook.com/events/s/bingo-virtual-for-first-respon/238426107361179/?ti=icl

Thank you Elizabeth Kay, Radar and 99.1 The Mix for having us join you!!!Also, Courage Family, you can help with the deb...
04/20/2020

Thank you Elizabeth Kay, Radar and 99.1 The Mix for having us join you!!!

Also, Courage Family, you can help with the debate, is a hotdog a sandwich? Comment below!!!

Is a hot dog a sandwich and what does Mark Baden from WISN 12 NEWS collect?? Find out in Elizabeth and Radar's FIRST EVER...Zoom Roulette with guest appearances from these local celebrities including:

Wisconsin's Lt. Governor Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes

DJ Shawna - official DJ for the Milwaukee Bucks

Brad Schlaikowski the co-founder and Executive Director of Courage MKE

Traffic Anchor Andrew Brovelli from CBS 58

https://991themix.radio.com/blogs/elizabeth-kay/elizabeth-and-radars-1st-zoom-roulette

Over 400 Courage Kits on there way to the community through Metcalfe Park Community Bridges.   ❤️❤️❤️.  Thank you to all...
04/20/2020

Over 400 Courage Kits on there way to the community through Metcalfe Park Community Bridges. ❤️❤️❤️. Thank you to all who continuously support our Courage Kit program!!!

To learn more about our Kerge get Program go to:
https://www.couragemke.org/get-involved

Elizabeth and Angie, thank you both for continuously checking in our residents and staff.   Your generosity of food dail...
04/19/2020

Elizabeth and Angie, thank you both for continuously checking in our residents and staff. Your generosity of food daily essentials and continued support have been so appreciated and helpful as we all work to get through this. You two are HEROES in our eyes. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!! ❤️

Address

270 East Highland Avenue
Milwaukee, WI
53202

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(414) 240-2882

Alerts

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Our Story

Courage MKE became an idea of Co-Founders, Brad and Nick Schlaikowski while they were foster parents. Together they welcomed multiple homeless LGBTQ+ youth into their home after learning about their stories of rejection, fear and survival. Their first foster daughter told stories of being kicked out of her home because she came out as Lesbian and then rejected further from women’s shelters because of who he is. Another one of their foster daughters fought to survive and was manipulated into sex trafficking.

In late summer of 2015, Brad and Nick knew it was time to take action and bring homelessness amongst our LGBTQ+ youth to the front of the conversation. That year they, along with a group of amazing friends put together a community event called “Courage; an event for homeless lgbtq+ youth” to help raise awareness to the cause as well as over $15,000.00 for another local nonprofit. The event came and gone and though proud, Brad and Nick still wanted to do more. They brought their friends together and proposed the idea of continuing to raise awareness and eventually open a facility that any child that identified as LGBTQ+ would be accepted for who they are, taught what it means to be part of a family and most importantly a place they would be proud to call him, it was that moment that Courage MKE began.

Brad and Nick quickly created a Board of Directors and by January 2016, because of the high needs of this community and the generous support the event received and continues to receive, Courage MKE was established as a nonprofit organization!

The Courage Board of Directors quickly decided to focus on four main areas:

HOUSING:

By working with our community donors, public and private funding we will open and sustain “The Courage House”, a safe haven, a home where LGBTQ+ young people can feel treasured and respected for who they are. Courage House will provide counselling programs, mental and physical healthcare, identity appreciation programs, and assistance with job hunting and resume building. But, Courage House will be more than that, it will be home cooked meals prepared with love. It will be a big turkey dinner on Thanksgiving, gifts at holiday time, comfort through difficult times, and the stability these young people so desperately deserve.

SUPPORT & AWARENESS:

Community outreach through local high school Gay Straight Alliances (GSA). Funding within our schools across the state of Wisconsin has been slashed for years. GSAs are one of the first to lose their funding from their school districts. We believe that GSAs in schools are one of the most important organizations as in many situations, the only resource a child has to talk with peers and be themselves without fear. On a monthly basis Courage MKE provides up to two grants to a high school GSA to ensure they are able to continue to make a difference in their school communities.

EDUCATION:

Courage MKE believes that everyone should have access to any post high school education whether its as trade school, certificate program of four year university, Courage MKE is encouraging and supporting post high school education through our established Jackie Roberts Memorial Scholarship Fund. Each year through a written essay application, we will award high school Seniors that are active members in their school’s GSA with scholarships to help with their post high school education.

HEART:

Sometimes, it’s the things that we all take for granted that remind us we are cared about. Courage MKE’s Courage Kit program provides basic day to day necessities such as soaps, toothbrushes, tooth paste, deodorant, tampons, hand warmers, new socks, hats mittens and more. Through the generosity of our communities, organizations across Wisconsin such as Veolia North America, Northwestern Mutual, Harley Davidson and others have hold countless drives to ensure we are able to continuously deliver Courage Kits to organizations like Milwaukee Public Schools, and countless other shelters that support youth in our communities to allow them the simplest of things that make them feel human.

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Comments

❤️💜💚💛💙
Thank you ..
You two are absolutely beautiful human beings. What you are doing is absolutely amazing and you should be commended from here to eternity. God bless people like you for opening your hearts like this.
Hoda and Jenna just played a piece about you guys this morning. I had to come find you blind and just tell you what an awesome work you are doing. ❤️
Is there a way I can link my Amazon Smile to Courage?
I couldn’t stop crying while watching all this come together. We need more places like this for our LGBTQ youth. Y’all are what’s right with the world. Thank you!
David, Alley and Brian celebrating one great night of love!
Happy I got to Cranky Al’s before they were gone for the day! #Igotthelastsixfortoday
🍜Make sure to make your reservation for June 11 6-9pm an intimate evening with Chef AJ Dixon. Sharing a 3 course meal with wine🍷🍜pairings featuring her dish of Chicken Provençal. For each dish served during the month of June a percentage of the proceeds go to make strides for Courage MKE 🌈Savage Support 💗and Express Yourself Milwaukee 🎭🎨🎼 DINE FOR A CAUSE! https://www.facebook.com/events/327419101276183/?ti=ia
Are you still accepting encouragement cards?
Would you have any interest in a desktop or laptop computer for either administration or kids to use? One of my company's clients is having us handle donating or recycling them; there's a really nice desktop and a good laptop available.
Sent a private message about some furniture we would like to know if you can use. We also have many dishes.