COA Youth & Family Centers (Milwaukee, WI)


  • Name:Thomas Shneider
  • Title:Executive Director

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:COA Youth & Family Centers
  • Address:909 E North Ave
    Milwaukee, WI 53212
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:414-263-8383

Organization Web

User Email


Click map for a full size active view.


  • Mission:
  • COA Youth & Family Centers helps Milwaukee children, teens and families reach their greatest potential through a continuum of educational, recreational and social work programs offered through its two urban community centers, seven schools, and its rural camp facility. As a multicultural agency, COA values diversity and cooperation and promotes personal growth and positive social interaction.

  • Overview:
  • COA programs reach youth and families throughout Milwaukee, WI, but the majority of our service population comes from the neighborhoods surrounding our urban community centers: Riverwest (53212) and Goldin (53206). By all local data measures of poverty, academic achievement, unemployment, crime, health -- these are two of the city’s most distressed communities, with 42% of households in the Riverwest/Harambee neighborhood and over 50% of households in the Goldin/Amani neighborhood living below the poverty level. Families in this socioeconomic category have the highest rates of infant mortality and low birth weights, child abuse, and maltreatment in our community. Youth living in poverty are more likely to enter school without the foundational skills they need to succeed and, therefore, continue to underperform over the long-term. They are also more likely to be exposed to trauma resulting from residential instability, food insecurity, abandonment, psychological and emotional abuse, and/or anger issues.

    Since 1906, COA has worked to provide low-income children and families with opportunities to achieve their greatest potential through a holistic continuum of quality early education programs, youth development programs and community development initiatives. Over a century of programming experience has taught us that any effort to create positive outcomes for children and teens must engage parents in order to be effective. Our family-centered philosophy is woven through each of our program areas.

    Our programming is comprised of 4 core focus areas:
    •Early Child Development (Early Child Education, Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY), Family Resource Centers)
    •Youth Development (Pre-Teen and Teen Programs, Camp, Community Learning Centers)
    •Community Development (Direct Services, Partnerships, Referral Networks)
    •Family Development (Family-centered programming is central to our Early Child, Youth, and Community Development initiatives)

    Early child development programs focus on providing children (birth to 6) from low-income households with access to quality learning environments to cultivate the foundational skills they will need to succeed in school. These programs also focus on helping parents and caregivers develop the knowledge and skills they will need to support their developing child. COA has recently opened the new Burke Early Childhood Education Center and are growing rapidly every day.

    The focus on academic success and healthy social, emotional, and physical development is central to COA’s youth development programs. Year-round youth and camping programs provide children ages 6-18 with access to academic support, personal growth opportunities, cultural enrichment activities, community service projects, and recreational activities. Support from the Brewers Community Foundation has helped increased COA’s capacity and we now serve youth at our Goldin and Riverwest centers as well as at 7 schools throughout the community.

    •Over 100 years of experience has taught COA that the children and families we serve are deeply affected by the environment around them daily, including crime, violence, unemployment, poverty, racism, and disinvestment. For this reason, COA’s community development initiatives are working towards the ultimate goal of making the communities we serve welcoming and safe with the best resources for our families to have the greatest chance at success. For example, COA’s Goldin Center is located in the Amani neighborhood, one of the most distressed areas in Milwaukee. In the past year, COA has partnered with Milwaukee County to revitalize Moody Park and will be offering family programming in the park in the near future. Additionally, COA has opened the new Burke Early Childhood Education Center at the Goldin Center, providing quality childcare in an area that did not previously have access. All of these additions have contributed to the revitalization of the neighborhood, providing much needed resources to the community.

  • History:
  • COA Youth & Family Centers was founded in 1906 as the Children’s Outing Association by a dynamic group of Jewish women who sought to provide families in poverty the means to achieve self-sufficiency and raise healthy, productive, successful children. Following the framework of Jane Addams’ Hull House in Chicago, these women established Milwaukee’s first Settlement House and through this holistic model of community service they provided an array of resources for families. Over the last century, COA has continued to evolve this continuum of services and today serves thousands of children and families through holistic and integrated early child, youth, and community development programs offered at its two community centers (Riverwest and Goldin), Camp Helen Brachman in central Wisconsin, and partnering Milwaukee Public Schools.

  • Year established:1906
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:33
  • Advisory board size:
  • Staff size:


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID: