The nonprofit Courage MKE, an agency “dedicated to the development and support of LGBTQ+ youth co-founded by Brad Schlaikowski and his husband, Nick,” according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, purchased a second property with the intention of helping LGBTQ young adults who have aged out of foster care but who might not yet be ready for fully independent living. The first property, Courage House, is a home for LGBTQ+ youth ages 12–17 experiencing homelessness.
The new property, which will be called C2 Apartments, will be two stories tall, is newly renovated, and will house up to seven young adults ages 18–24. There will also be “trauma-informed, around-the-clock staff [who] will fulfill the duties of a typical landlord and also help the youth cultivate daily living skills,” according to the article.
The original Courage House takes in referrals from social welfare systems and helps those youth deal with past traumas while also giving them stability to attend school and participate in volunteer opportunities. After its success, “the idea of working on a youth center to help LGBTQ youth transition into more independent living bloomed,” according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “On paper, they’re an adult now because it says they’re 18, but these children have not had the luxury of people training them and getting them ready for adult life,” Brad Schlaikowski told the Journal Sentinel.
The property, which needs some rehabilitation and conversion to accommodate seven young people to live there, will function as transitional housing for people coming out of Courage House, and is expected to open in the fall of 2023, with the help of partners such as a carpenters union and Kohls, who will help furnish the property.