Mission Statement of the Nehemiah Project

A non-profit youth focused organization that promotes 
the physical and emotional well-being of youth through
psychological, educational, leadership and transitional living services.

History & Services

The Nehemiah Project, was organized in 1996 as a non-profit organization in the State of

Wisconsin. In 2002, the organization acquired two group homes that serve boys by providing

transitional living services and programming for youth, ages 13-18, returning to the community

after incarceration.  Previously, these facilities were operating as group homes known as Trasncenter for Youth since 1969. Thus, we have been continuously operating as transitional living for boys since 1969.

All of our clients are referred to us through the juvenile court system and stay with us an average

of 6-9 months. We are funded by purchase-of-service grants from Milwaukee County and the state of Wisconsin. The Nehemiah Project operates two licensed facilities, in Milwaukee and are

governed by a volunteer board of directors. Our main building, Nehemiah Group Home, at 2506

W. Vliet St. houses both young men and our administrative offices. Our other facility, Harper House, is on Milwaukee’s Eastside at 2754 N. Cramer St., and has been operational since 1991.

The young men we serve typically come from some of the most fractured and challenging parts

of our city. Their families often face a myriad of issues including addiction, mental health issues,

lack of education, poverty, violence, and domestic abuse. Some of these issues may preclude our clients from returning home upon release. We provide 24 hour care and monitoring, insure an educational plan is in place, report to the court, and provide programs and presentations that

offer alternatives to recidivism. The goal is to work with these young men, within the community, to reduce criminogenic behaviors and further involvement in the criminal justice system.

The Nehemiah Project has worked to create innovative programming that addresses the unique needs of each client. By offering such diverse programming as Forgiveness for Teens, Cognitive

Thinking training, Restorative Justice, Drug and Alcohol Awareness, Literacy training, Employment Training, and others, we create an environment of positive change in lives that  have been exposed to very few options and alternatives. Over the years, we have been able to develop an extensive network of agencies within the community that collaborate with us to

provide ancillary services to youth. This allows us to access program services for our residents

through a variety of medical, recreational, educational and therapeutic agencies.

Each client has a very detailed intake process with our staff to both assess and prioritize a treatment plan. Some do not have a home to return to when they turn 18 so independent living

skills become a priority. Others face medical and mental health issues as a priority. So, for each

young man, a treatment plan is developed and reviewed daily as to his progress for each area of

involvement. This plan is shared with his ‘team’. A typical treatment team for each client consists of our staff, the client’s family (if they choose to participate), his probation officer, a court-ordered case manager, and other ancillary providers ( therapist, mentor).  

We act as a support for youth as they transition from out-of-home placement, returning to the community and their familial home.

Why "Nehemiah"?

Nehemiah, an Old Testament prophet, was active in the years 464-423 B.C. He left Babylon in 445 B.C. to assist his people in Jerusalem.  His name means “The Lord has comforted.”

 Nehemiah has been honored for centuries as a model of passionate and faithful caring, brilliant strategy and motivation.  He confronted an environment of despair, hopelessness and physical danger.  His efforts and those of the people he worked with resulted in the successful rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem.  Nehemiah, his philosophy and active response to life’s challenges, offer a model of hope for people faced with poverty and hopelessness, and those who work with them.

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