Our Space History

1987
Our Space was founded by family members, clergy, mental health providers, and consumers of mental health services. In 1988, All Saints Cathedral donated space and Our Space began serving 35 individuals impacted by mental illness.

1990
Our Space participated in a community coalition to establish the Grand Avenue Club.

1992
NAMI awarded Our Space the Certificate of Appreciation.

1996
Our Space and NAMI helped establish the Consumer Satisfaction Team, which in 1998 incorporated as a separate entity.

Price Is Right Shoppe opens. The Shoppe provides clothing and household items so that individuals suffering from mental illness are able to live independently. All items are provided free of charge. 

2002
Kelly Blaschke, Board President, received NAMI’s Anti-Stigma Award. Later that year, the Executive Director received the NAMI Professional Services Award.

2003
Our Space initiated the Parents Without Children Program (PWOC) to address the needs of mental health consumers who have lost custody of their children to the child welfare system due to their mental illness.

2004
Our Space received funding from the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program to implement a Peer Support training program and began providing Peer Support in Adult Crisis Services at the Behavioral Health Division.

Fardale Supportive Apartments opened in September 2004. A collaboration was established between Social Rehabilitation and Residential Resources and Our Space, Inc. to create a supported apartment program that offered supportive living to consumers and offered meaningful employment opportunities to Peer Support Specialists who assist these consumers.

2005
 Our Space was the first program in the Milwaukee area to receive funding from the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership to implement a peer specialist training program, which included adding a state-approved CPS trainer to our talented staff.

2006-2007
The Crisis Resource Center opened in December 2007. Our Space’s Executive Director at the time was instrumental in fund development and received a $500,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant for the project.

2008
Our Space collaborated with Cardinal Capital and Milwaukee County Housing- Special Needs Division to open United House. This new supportive apartment initiative opened in August 2008 and serves 24 residents with severe and persistent mental illness.

2009-2010
Our Space relocated to a new location at the site of the former Oakton Manor on National Avenue.

2011
Empowerment Village-National, a supportive apartment facility connected to Our Space, opened in January 2011 and serves 35 residents with severe and persistent mental illness. Our Space provides peer support, groups, and one-on-one support to residents with severe and persistent mental illness

Empowerment Village-Lincoln, a supportive apartment facility for 30 residents, was built at the former site of Our Space and opened in September 2011. Our Space provides peer support, groups, and one-on-one support to residents with severe and persistent mental illness.

2013
Farwell Studio Apartments, a mix housing supportive apartment facility for 17 residents, Our Space provides peer support, groups, and one-on-one support to residents with severe and persistent mental illness.

2015
Highland Commons, a supportive apartment facility for 50 residents, Our Space provides peer support, groups, and one-on-one support to residents with severe and persistent mental illness.

2016
Managed Health Services (MHS), previously known as Cenpatico®, partnered with Our Space to provide peer specialist support service to their members. Their objective was to reduce high utilization of emergency care services. Due to the success of this program we have continued this partnership. 

2017
Our Space awarded the Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) Building Opportunity grant. This grant was to help provide a stronger infrastructure to create the Milwaukee Crisis Living room a crisis walk-in center. Our Space is currently working to pilot this program in 2018-2019. 

Our Space became a Comprehensive Community Service and Wiser Choice Provider.

2018
The Behavioral Health Division awarded Our Space the peer-run Respite contract. This new initiative offers consumers community-based support in a home-like environment during times of increased stress. 

2019
Parachute House peer-run respite opens.