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Milwaukee

Find alternatives to calling the Milwaukee Police Department.

Cover photo for alternatives to police in Milwaukee, WI, a list of alternatives to calling the police or 911

Typically, people call the police because they are experiencing or perceive an emergency and need immediate assistance. In order to provide the most effective alternatives to calling the police or 911, unless otherwise indicated, the resources included here are limited to those that offer immediate assistance through emergency or crisis services.

Where we know or suspect that a resource may work in cooperation with law enforcement, we acknowledge that in the listing.

These resources are not intended to cover all situations, only to provide the services described. If you are in danger of immediate harm and feel safe doing so, call 911.

Housing

  • Autumn West Safe Haven – Milwaukee Women’s Center
    • A low-barrier housing refuge for individuals who are currently homeless and experiencing severe and persistent mental health challenges. This program operates as an alternative to emergency shelter and is designed to provide safe, short-term housing along with supportive services, including peer support, for residents as they transition out of homelessness. For people 18 years and older.
    • (414) 671-6337
    • https://communityadvocates.net/what-we-do/homelessness.html
  • Repairers of the Breach
    • Provides advocacy, education and organizing of homeless and at-risk of homeless people, mainly led by the people served. The Daytime Resource Center offers help in the areas of sanctuary: a safe, drug free environment; “lifelines” such as phone use and mailing address.
    • 7 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday – Saturday, open holidays
    • 1335 W. Vliet Street, Milwaukee, WI 53205

LGBTQ+

  • Diverse & Resilient Anti-Violence Project
    • Serves LGBTQ+ survivors of all violence: intimate partner, sexual, and hate- or community-based violence. Works directly with survivors of violence by listening, helping safety plan, and referring to inclusive shelters and programs within their communities in Wisconsin. This is facilitated through our statewide LGBTQ Anti-Violence Resource Line
    • (414) 856-LGBT (5428) (calls returned within 24 hours)
    • https://www.diverseandresilient.org/work/anti-violence/
  • Milwaukee LGBT Center Anti-Violence Program
    • Anti-Violence Program (AVP) provides crisis counseling, accompaniment to court or medical exams and advocacy, such as criminal justice and personal advocacy. Crisis counseling during regular business hours Monday – Friday.
    • (414) 292-3070
    • https://www.mkelgbt.org/

Mental Health

  • COPE
    • The mission of COPE is to provide emotional support and crisis intervention to those in the Ozaukee/Milwaukee Area. The COPE Hotline is answered by trained listeners. They provide supportive listening to callers, crisis intervention and suicide prevention. The Hotline is available 24/7 and all calls to COPE are anonymous and confidential!
    • (262) 377-2673
  • Milwaukee County Behavioral Health – Crisis Services*
    • The Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division partners with outside behavioral health organizations to offer two Crisis Resource Centers offering short-term stabilization, assessment, supportive and recovery services. Referrals are made by calling either center directly 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Services in English and Spanish.
    • (South) 2057 S. 14th St., (414) 643-8778
    • (North) 5409 W. Villard St., (414) 539-4024
    • (414) 257-7222 (24/7 Hotline)
    • (414) 257-7621 (24/7 Youth Hotline)
    • https://county.milwaukee.gov/EN/DHHS/BHD*
    • *Please note that the hotline numbers are externally staffed and may contact the police in certain situations – it may be safer to call the facilities directly.

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

  • American Indians Against Abuse Inc.
    • Tribal Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition that provides training/education and technical assistance to the 11 federally recognized WI Tribes, including the Bad River, Red Cliff, Lac Courte Oreilles, Lac de Flambeau, Sokaogon and St. Croix Chippewa, Ho-Chunk Nation, Menominee Nation, Oneida Nation, Forest County Potawatomi and Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nations.
    • (715) 634-9980
  • Aurora Health Care Healing and Advocacy Services
    • Offers a 24-Hour crisis hotline, emergency care, counseling, emotional support and forensic nursing. Will provide advocacy support short- and long-term, including accompaniment to medical and legal appointments, and assistance communicating with law enforcement if needed.
    • (414) 219-5555 (24-7 Hotline)
    • (414) 219-1551 (Text)
    • https://www.aurorahealthcare.org/healing-advocacy-services/
  • Deaf Unity
    • Serves all Deaf victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and other forms of violence, in Wisconsin. Crisis intervention, advocacy, safety planning, shelter, information and referral. Services are free and confidential.
    • (608) 466-2881 (Text hotline, not 24-hours)
    • help@deafunitywi.org (Email hotline)
    • https://www.deafunitywi.org/
  • Milwaukee Women’s Center
    • Operates a 24/7 emergency shelter for survivors of domestic violence and homelessness, and offers supports and services for survivors.
    • (414) 449-4777 (General)
    • (414) 671-6140 (24-Hour Crisis Line)
    • https://communityadvocates.net/
  • Sojourner Family Peace Center
    • 24-hour domestic violence hotline. Sojourner Family Peace Center has been designated the 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline for the City of Milwaukee and outlying communities since 1986. Staff and volunteers speak directly with victims from the scene of domestic violence incidents investigated by the Milwaukee Police Department and 18 suburban police departments. 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline also receives calls for information and support, and can help callers of all ages. All calls are confidential.
    • (414) 933-2722

Youth

Please note, people answering these calls may be mandatory reporters, and required to make a report to CPS or law enforcement in certain situations. Learn about local mandatory reporter laws here.

  • Crossroad Runaway Program
    • Provides free, short-term counseling to youth in crisis and their families. Additional services offered through this program include: emergency, short-term shelter, education, referral and the availability of a 24-hour helpline. Serves Waukesha and Washington counties.
    • Washington County: (262) 338‐3555
    • Waukesha County: (262) 212‐8350
  • Owen’s Place
    • Owen’s Place is designed as a drop-in resource and support center open to all young adults between the ages of 16-24 years old with emotional and behavioral challenges. It is staffed with a Resource Coordinator and Peer Specialists whose roles are to build relationships, engage young adults and strategically direct young adults to resources.
    • Mon – Thur, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Friday 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    • 4610 W. Fond Du Lac Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53216
    • (414) 977-4249
  • Pathfinders
    • Offering a variety of supportive services to youth and young adults. The Youth Shelter is open 365 days a year and provides emergency short-term shelter for adolescents aged 11-17, plus crisis counseling services for youth aged 18-21. New Paths offers accompaniment and advocacy services for youth aged 11-25 who have experienced sexual exploitation and trafficking as they navigate medical, legal and social service systems. LGBTQ+ allied.
  • Safe Path Teen Sexual Abuse Hotline
    • (414) 271-9523 OR 1 (866) 212-SAFE (24/7)
  • Walkers Point
    • Provides temporary shelter and crisis to youth in crisis ages 11-17 who are experiencing family or other problems.  Counseling is available by appointment or walk-in to youth just needing to talk.  This program provides a safe and legal alternative to the streets for runaway and homeless youth.
    • (414) 647-8200 (24-hour crisis hotline)
    • https://walkerspoint.org/
  • Wraparound Milwaukee
    • Childrens mobile crisis response teams. A mental health crisis team licensed by the State of Wisconsin that serves Milwaukee County youth. CMC Team was created to help children and teenagers in crisis. CMC responds to a wide range of needs in homes, schools, and throughout the community, wherever children and families need help to reduce a crisis, solve a problem, or assess a need.
    • Phone assistance available 24/7, mobile response available 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
    • (414) 257-7621
    • http://wraparoundmke.com/programs/mutt/

Elders

Coming soon.

Crime

  • Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee
    • One of the nation’s oldest, continuously operating, public interest law firms. Providea free legal assistance to low income Milwaukee County residents with civil legal problems. Legal Aid lawyers will provide brief advice, referral and, in some cases, direct representation in matters involving housing, social security disability and other public benefits, basic estate and advanced planning, consumer debt/bankruptcy help, and HIV related civil rights including privacy, health care access and employment discrimination.
    • 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday
    • (414) 727-5300
    • https://lasmilwaukee.com/
  • Legal Action Wisconsin
    • Free legal services to low-income people. Priority practice areas and special projects include: benefits and health programs, family law, housing, drivers license assistance, criminal records & employment, elder abuse, assistance to migrant farmworkers, social security, re-entry, and protecting the rights of sexual assault victims.
    • (855) 947-2529
    • https://www.legalaction.org/

Substance Abuse

  • Alcoholics Anonymous Milwaukee
  • Narcotics Anonymous- Milwaukee

Please consider using these alternatives to calling the Milwaukee Police Department or 911 when faced with a situation that calls for de-escalation and/or intervention. We can abolish the police by not calling the police.

We have tried to indicate where police or law enforcement may work with the alternative resources listed; please let us know if you have any concerns about these resources.

Reimagine public safety. Don’t call the police.

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