Joy House

Where women's lives are transformed. For good.


Abuse. Divorce. Death of a spouse. Drug addiction. Job loss. There are all sorts of reasons a woman ends up homeless. Of Milwaukee's 100,000 adults living in poverty, 71% are women. They're often single moms with young kids. Some are women without children who have no place to turn. Often, they are victims of domestic violence. But for those who find their way to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, they'll be welcomed with unconditional love.

At Joy House, guests will find safe shelter, hot, nutritious meals and life-changing help through our long- and short-term Christian-based programs. Women will strengthen parenting skills with the help of our Parenting Coach. Families will learn to adjust to new environments in working with our Family Coordinator. Case Managers will work with women and their children at every step of their journey, offering guidance and loving care throughout their stay.

Women and children will find not only safe shelter at Joy House, but the resources and encouragement to help them to rebuild their lives.

Joy House programs


For women experiencing life-altering setbacks or traumas, Regroup offers relief — and the first step toward starting over

Regroup addresses immediate needs to offer comfort and assistance to women leaving a situation that caused anxiety, despair or difficulty. This program provides a safe, clean environment for a woman or a single mother with children to work with our team and set goals for transitioning to a life of stability.


Our program goals are to:

  • Provide a safe and comfortable environment
  • Meet immediate needs — including food, shelter, and clothing
  • Display and share the love of Christ
  • Offer opportunity to grow


Once immediate needs are met, Renew provides the time and space for women to consider next steps so that a restorative process can begin. 

This program is designed to help women examine what they know now so they can replace old habits of doing and thinking with new ideas of healthy productivity and emotional wellbeing. Case Managers and coaches will guide women through finance, parenting and/or life classes, and will help them establish goals for their progress.

Renew promotes physical, spiritual and emotional learning experiences through the Transformed curriculum (personal development), Her Journey (abuse recovery groups) and the Genesis Process (relapse prevention). 


Our program goals are to:

  • Provide time for restoration
  • Explain our identity in Christ
  • Assist in setting goals
  • Provide accountability


Revive exists to help women continue the transition from surviving their circumstances to flourishing in spite of them.

This program is designed to strengthen women and families and build confidence in the new things they've learned. Our aspiration is to encourage the continued growth of each participant and help her wisely care for herself and/or her family — helping her establish a steady income, a healthy living situation and the means for a productive life outside of Joy House.


Our program goals are to:

  • Strengthen families
  • Build confidence
  • Encourage growth
  • Establish caring communities

Cross Trainers Academy

While not part of Joy House, Cross Trainers Academy serves some of the children whose moms are in our programs. The Cross Trainers Academy's Christian-based environment gives at-risk kids the additional education, love and support they need to succeed. They learn more than just academics; they're taught valuable lessons about morals and character.

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Transformed Lives

How Joy House has helped these women find new life and a fresh start.


Tami's story reads like a movie — abduction, beatings, hostage, escape. And a soul yearning for a place, purpose and love. She lived house-to-house, finding shelter with friends or family or anyone who had a space. She sometimes lived on the street. By the time she found her way to Milwaukee Rescue Mission, she had some deep anger issues. “I wasn't talking to anyone,” she says. “And I was tired of depending on others who didn't care.”

Read Tami's story


“I can't remember a time I wanted to live. I never knew my father, and my mother was an alcoholic prostitute who wanted to abort me. I often wished I hadn't been born. After high school, a boyfriend who used crack cocaine started abusing me. I escaped him, but ended up with a string of abusive men. I stayed with them because I felt like they were all I had. I was so hopeless. I desperately needed help, but there was no one to give it to me.”

Read Melanie's story


Krystal didn't plan to get pregnant as a teen. But when she did, her family and the baby's father turned their backs on her. Scared, but determined to move on, earn her GED and become a nurse, she came to Joy House, not quite sure what to expect. “At first,” she admits, “I felt like things weren't going to be right for me. I was so wrapped up in what I thought was important for me. But God wanted me to go in a different direction . . .”

Read Krystal's story

These are just a few of the inspiring stories of women that have found new hope and strength through the Milwaukee Rescue Mission.Check out moreamazing talesof transformation.

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