300 flags displayed along Rimrock Road represent homeless kids in Dane County

If you take a drive down Rimrock Road, you’ll see a large green flag display on the side of the road.

“Those 300 flags are there to represent the 300 kids who are homeless every night,” said Briarpatch Youth Services development and communications director Jackie Wehrenberg.

Wehrenberg said the flags were placed there last Friday and will stay there for the rest of November in hopes of raising awareness about the reality homeless kids face every day.

“They could be living in cars, they could be sleeping on the street, they could be sleeping with friends or family or couch surfing. When they’re in that situation it really makes them vulnerable and puts them in a really vulnerable situation because they’re at risk of sexual exploitation,” she said.

One out of every three youth who are on the street are sexually exploited every 48 hours.

Wehrenberg and the staff at Briarpatch help as many kids as they can. She said the facility can house up to eight kids every night, but that still isn’t enough.

“It’s sad. It kind of seems like you’re defeated before you start,” Wehrenberg said. “About half of the youth who are homeless or on the street come from foster care systems.These are the kids of our communities’ future. It’s important for everyone to pay attention and help them get the resources that they need.”

If you would like to find out how you can help, Wehrenberg said you can contact them in several ways:

For assistance regarding a youth in crisis or scheduling an intake:

Call our 24-hour Help Line at 608.251.1126
Or Toll-Free Line at 800.798.1126
Or text 608.285.2776 (texts checked M-F 9 a.m.- 9 p.m.)

To speak to Youth Shelter staff regarding a current shelter resident:

Call 608.245.2550, ext. 1111

For questions regarding youth on Work Teams please contact the youth work team supervisor.

Or call our on-call Intensive Supervision staff at 608.669.4711

You can also look for additional information on their website here.

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