Lighthouse Youth Center (LYC) is an after-school and summer youth program that serves youth between the ages of 10 and 18 who are living under the poverty level in Milwaukee. It has three campuses: Havenwoods (68th & Silver Spring, majority black or African American students); Garden Homes (25th & Roosevelt Dr., majority black or African American students); and its newest location that opened May 2020, Polonia (S. 12th & Oklahoma Ave., majority Hispanic or Latino students). Prior to the COVID restrictions, the two original campuses served more than 70 youth combined each day. LYC is a safe place for youth to go after school and be supported and encouraged mentally, physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually.
Primary Focus: Youth Ministry – after-school and summer leadership development
Lutheran Affiliation: WELS
Operating Budget: $640,000
Programs: LYC focuses on recreational time, homework assistance, and sharing Jesus with the young people. Everyday at LYC, students are welcomed by staff, provided with time to "be kids," and have fun with a variety of healthy activities available to them at LYC. Next, they participate in mandatory homework/work time and staff and volunteers help with any questions they have on their assignments. Then, they have devotion time to learn the Gospel of Jesus, followed by additional recreation time, and the "Gospel gem of the day" at closing time.
The Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Vicars have been an integral part of implementing the schedule and helping youth, and the Wisconsin Lutheran College student interns (women) have enhanced the experience, especially for female youth, who truly appreciate having a same-gender adult leader and mentor.
Who is Served: Two groups of people are served by this program: Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary vicars and Wisconsin Lutheran College students hired to serve LYC youth; and LYC youth. A majority of these students are African American and/or Hispanic living under the poverty level in Milwaukee.
Location: 5641 N. 68th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53218