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COA Youth & Family Centers was established in 1906 to serve low-income children and families in Milwaukee. We focus on three core areas: Early Child Development, Youth Development, and Community Development. Family is at the center of all we do.

Years of service
Served annually

Our Reputation for Excellence

COA Youth & Family Centers has received a 4-Star rating for the twelfth consecutive year from Charity Navigator, a national evaluator of nonprofit organizations. Only 1% of the charities rated by Charity Navigator have received this top distinction for twelve or more years consecutively. COA is the highest rated Human Services nonprofit organization in the State of Wisconsin.


When I was 20 and a new mom, I found the Family Center. At 22 with 2 kids, the center saved me time and time again. Today, 42 and pregnant with 4 kids under 3years old in my care, you brightened my rainy day as usual. So grateful for this resource!
Shannon, Family Resource Center
COA is a lifesaver!! We go stir crazy in the house. The kids love it here. I need to feel a social connection with other parents. I get so bored and lonely and isolated home with the kids all day. Also – social interactions for the toddlers is invaluable.
Family Center parent
I come to the COA to expose my son to other kids, so he can interact and learn from them. I appreciate the many different people from different cultures and walks of life. I love all the difference art projects that my son can try without messing up my house.
Family Center parent
I come to COA because it is an awesome, clean, friendly environment that is very well-suited to my kids. I also really appreciate the educational aspect of drop-in, such as crafts and songs. My kids would not be the same had we not been coming to COA. Thank you Anne and COA.
Family Center parent
Young people learn, grow and thrive at COA because the counselors, teachers, administrators, donors and volunteers here share a commitment to giving them a positive future. The leaders at COA are a unique combination of brains and tenacity. They know when to lecture to a group and when to have a soft spoken one-on-one conversation with a child. They also know the best ways to involve parents.
Walter Fee, COA Volunteer
When I first began volunteering, I really wasn’t sure what to expect or how I’d be received by the kids. After my first day at the youth center, one of the kids told me I should start working there every day. Hearing that made me feel good about what I was doing, while also helping to put me at ease. Since then, I’ve really enjoyed my time volunteering and plan to continue doing it as long as they’ll keep me around.
Kyle Buehner, COA Volunteer


COA2010 (4)


A video overview of COA’s family-centered programs and services.




The voice of COA’s participants, volunteers, donors, and staff.


COA 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 urban community centers and rural camp facility. As a multicultural agency, COA values diversity and cooperation, and promotes growth and positive social interaction.

Let Us Give You a Tour

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909 E. North Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53212