The SOS Center is an after-school program in Milwaukee that provides a safe place for children to receive and experience educational services and opportunities including homework assistance, mentoring, Christ-centered activities and games, and snacks and meals. It also offers a week of vacation Bible school in the summer. SOS aims to help Lutheran churches engage the community more effectively by serving as a hub for partnerships through the South Wisconsin District (SWD) LCMS, Recently, SOS has begun broadening its scope to develop more family ministry programs and mercy ministries in collaboration and partnership with other LCMS churches. Its after-school program currently serves about 30 youth, but it anticipates returning back to higher numbers once COVID-19 spread is reduced.
Primary Focus: Youth Leadership Hub
Lutheran Affiliation: LCMS
Operating Budget: $80,000
The Youth Leadership Hub is a program for youth ages where instructors provide life-skills training, spiritual support, mentoring, tutoring, and a youth grief program, with the goal of supporting schools and parents in raising healthy, well-rounded people. An emphasis is placed on spiritual, mental, and physical health and well-being.
The program includes life skills training on a range of topics including science, money management, job searching and interviewing, nutrition (meal planning/grocery shopping), baking, art, music, sign language, and sewing. There will also be the opportunity for students to run a small business out of the Leadership Hub. Some SOS youth already have some products they make or service they offer and SOS will help them develop their business and market it to others.
Urban Lutheran pastors and LCMS church leaders participate in most of SOS' programming activities and a devotion and discussion occurs before each youth activity.
Who is Served: The youth who participate in programs at SOS live in the surrounding 53208 neighborhood, where 39% of children under the age of 18 live in poverty and the majority of youth are Black or African American.
Location: 4620 W. North Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53208