Independent Living & Job Skills

Established in 1985, Lad Lake’s Independent Living programs inspired the development of other community programs emphasizing youth transition to adulthood.

Lad Lake works to promote independent living and prevent youth homelessness by helping two groups of young adults most at risk: youth “aging out” of foster care and young adults with serious mental health conditions.

Studies have shown that both of these groups of young adults are more likely to experience homelessness and live in poverty. Lad Lake’s proven programs are designed to empower each young adult to reach his or her goals of becoming self-sufficient, successful and productive contributors in their community including:

  • Assistance with life skills development, housing, employment, secondary and post-secondary educational opportunities
  • Peer support though bi-monthly events and daily drop-in center resources
  • Support to participate in the statewide Youth Advisory Council geared toward improving the experiences of youth in foster care

We also understand that connecting youth to community resources is essential for ongoing success, so Lad Lake helps young adults with networking to assist with:

  • Healthcare
  • Crisis intervention
  • Transportation
  • Legal Assistance
  • Parent Education, family support and childcare options
  • Activities supporting social, cultural, and religious observance

High School Graduates


Lad Lake youth

MPS students

Lad Lake provides individualized support for young adults ages 17-21 who have aged out of care from the Division of Child Protective Services in Milwaukee.

Lad Lake’s Supervised Independent Living program is a model program utilizing National best practices to support youth as they age out of the Foster Care system and get on a path for a thriving future. Similarly, Lad Lake collaborates with Wraparound Milwaukee to implement the nationally-recognized program “Comprehensive Community Based Services.” This proven program helps young adults with serious mental health conditions design a wellness plan that is intended to help build the skills needed to improve health, promote wellness, attain personal goals and enhance overall quality of life.

To-date, more than 3,000 youth have participated in these programs since its inception.

78% of Lad Lake young adults have found employment while in programming.
91% of the young adults have Safe and stable housing.
83% have opened a savings or checking account

For More Information please Contact

Danielle Dumas-Akobundu