Here is a list of resources to help keep our kids safe and engaged this summer.

Many organizations in Milwaukee, including the Urban Ecology Center, offer summer programs for youth. (File photo by Sue Vliet)

Last summer, the COVID-19 pandemic severely limited or closed almost all youth programs in Milwaukee or made them virtual. But luckily this year there are many programs in place looking for young people to serve. The changes couldn’t come at a better time, with most schools dropping out and the city again facing increasing violence.

This guide provides resources to help you and your kids stay safe and engaged this summer. If you would like to add your organization’s programming to the list, please email [email protected]


414 Life

414 LIFE is a violence interruption team based in Milwaukee neighborhoods and hospitals through partnerships with Froedtert Hospital and Wisconsin School of Medicine and Unite garden houses.

Ujima project

The Ujima Project, based at the Wisconsin Children’s Hospital, works with young people who have been abused and end up in the hospital. The project provides crisis intervention, case management, social and emotional support, youth development and mentoring, and mental health services.

Sojourner Family Peace Center

Sojourner Family Peace Center provides services, support and safety resources to victims of domestic violence. Its 24-hour emergency hotline and accommodation number is (414) 933-2722.


Neighbor Alert Program

The Alert Neighbor program encourages residents of 15 neighborhoods in Milwaukee to report any negative activity. To find out more or participate in the Neighbor Alert program, here is the program overview (PDF) and the program information sheet (PDF).

Sûr et Son Inc.

Safe and Sound’s mission is “to unite residents, youth, law enforcement and community resources to build safe and empowered neighborhoods.” You can find its neighborhood safety resources here. See where Safe and Sound works here, and what events she is organizing this summer here.


Beyond the Bell Milwaukee

Beyond the Bell is a collaborative effort to ensure that young people have access to coordinated, quality programs and services. This initiative is currently focused on programs and services for youth ages 12 to 18. Find information on how to contact Beyond the Bell here.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee

Boys and Girls Clubs provide safe spaces and activities for kids from kindergarten to high school across the city to learn, play and go out. Over 40 clubs in Milwaukee are offering summer programming this year. Find a club near you or register here.

COA Youth and Family Center

COA offers safe programs and spaces for youth of all ages, including athletics, art and gardening, all summer long at its two locations: 909 E. Garfield Ave. and 2320 W. Burleigh St. For more information on specific opportunities, watch here.

HeartLove Place

Located at 1927 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave., HeartLove Place is a faith-based organization that provides youth programs and family resources. Find more information here.

American Hmong Women’s Association

The Hmong American Women’s Association, or HAWA, offers several programs for youth in Southeast Asia that focus on “empowering youth leadership through community organization and participation.” More details are here.

Travel house

Journey House offers youth development, athletics and arts programs on Milwaukee, near the South Side, at 2110 W Scott St. You can find the various options here.

Ma’ruf Center for Youth Innovation

Ma’ruf is a youth center located at 2110 W. Hampton Ave. It offers a mentoring program for men and women on Mondays and Wednesdays and a tutoring program Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and judo lessons and will run a creative arts / literacy program later this summer. Other programs include leadership development, a hair salon, and play classes. Register to donate, volunteer or participate here.

Milwaukee Christian Center

Milwaukee Christian Center has a youth development program at Kosciuszko Community Center, located at 2201 S. 7th St.

Milwaukee Public Libraries

Starting June 7, customers will be allowed to resume browsing the stacks of documents for children and adults at all branches. (Navigation remains restricted to the central downtown library.) Libraries will still offer curbside pickup and virtual activities for youth and adults.. Learn more here.

Milwaukee Public Schools

MPS offers in-person and virtual summer programs for K-12 youth. Options include credit recovery, school-to-work transition, and career exploration programs. Find out more and subscribe to the free summer programming here.

MKE REC (Milwaukee Recreation)

Milwaukee Recreation offers a variety of programs for youth, adults and families in Milwaukee. Learn more here. Additionally, Community Learning Centers, or CLCs, will launch on June 21. Here is a list of CLC Sites.


Neu-Life works to empower and instill leadership in neighborhood youth through a wide range of programs and is located at 2014 W North Ave. Find out more here.

Pius XI High School

Pius offers a range of opportunities through its 2021 summer camp series. Classes include athletics, 3D modeling and photography. There are fees for the courses. Learn more about the campsite here.

Programming MKE Parks

Program the Parks MKE works to provide community support, activities, food and project-based employment opportunities for youth in local parks. Follow the group Facebook page for more information.

Silver Spring Neighborhood Center

Silver Spring is located in Westlawn at 5460 N. 64th St. and offers programs for all ages. You can find out more here.

Summit Educational Association

Summit runs a seven-week Summer Olympics program for grades four to eight. Learn more and register for their programs here.

Urban Ecology Center

The Urban Ecology Center has branches in Washington Park, Riverside Park and the Menomonee Valley and offers programs that help connect young people to nature. Find out more about the center Summer camps or other programming here.

Urban underground

Urban Underground offers paid summer leadership programs for youth ages 13-18 as part of the City of Milwaukee’s Earn and Learn program. Find more information here.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The UWM School of Continuing Education is running in-person programs this summer as part of its College for Kids and Teens program. Classes range from creative arts and chemistry to computer game design. Learn more and register here.

We have this

We Got This is holding its ninth summer program on Saturdays starting at 8 a.m. The program runs from June to August and is aimed at young people aged 12 to 16. Register before filling exit the application and turn to Running Rebels or We Got This Garden or call.

To learn more about the violence prevention efforts and strategy in Milwaukee, visit the Plan for peace.

About Edward Fries

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