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Peer Services: Peer-Run Respites

Peer-run respites are for people experiencing increased stress or symptoms related to mental health and substance use concerns who want support and encouragement from people who have experienced similar challenges. This support and encouragement is available through an overnight stay and by phone.  


Iris Place Logo

Iris Place - Appleton 

5 bedrooms




The LaCrosse Lighthouse, Inc. peer-run respite

La Crosse Lighthouse - La Crosse

4 bedrooms

608-519-1489 (Calls for peer support over the phone)
608-461-5527 (All other calls)



Solstice House Peer Run Respite Logo

Solstice House - Madison 

4 bedrooms




Monarch House Logo

Monarch House - Menomonie

4 bedrooms




Parachute House Peer-Run Respite Logo


Parachute House - Milwaukee

5 bedrooms




R and R House Mental Health America logo

The R&R House - Pewaukee
(Veterans Only)

3 bedrooms



Frequently asked questions

Accessing a peer-run respite

Adults (age 18 or older) living in Wisconsin who need or want peer support to navigate or avoid a crisis related to mental health and substance use concerns may use the free services offered by a peer-run respite. A specific diagnosis is not necessary. 

  • People who need support during a period of increased stress or symptoms related to mental health and substance use concerns, but not traditional medical care or treatment.
  • People who are willing and able to choose this service freely.

No. Prospective guests must contact the peer-run respite prior to their intended stay to engage in a conversation with staff to determine if the environment suits their needs. Wisconsin's peer recovery centers offer drop-in services.

Setting up a stay at a peer-run respite

Call the peer-run respite location and talk with staff about the services and supports available and whether these services and supports are the right ones at the right time.

Stays are voluntary. Services are provided at no cost to the guest.

Service providers, family members, and friends are welcome to contact one of the peer-run respites, but staff always will speak with the prospective guest prior to a stay. Because peer support is based on choice, individuals must self-refer to a peer-run respites. People who need someone to make a referral for them may need more help than a peer-run respite can offer. 

Peer-run respites are not drop-in centers. Please call and talk to staff before visiting one of the peer-run respites.

If a stay at a peer-run respite is not in the best interest of a prospective guest, staff will provide information on other community resources available to the individual. For example, individuals in severe, immediate crisis may be referred to the county crisis line. The peer-run respites do not provide clinical services and supports. Individuals who are intoxicated, disrespectful, or verbally abusive are not good fits for the peer-run respite environment. 

Guests are responsible for securing transportation to and from the peer-run respite. If guests need assistance accessing transportation, they should contact the peer-run respite. However, in general, the peer-run respites do not provide transportation services for guests.

Staying at a peer-run respite

The peer-run respites offer guests 24/7 opportunities for one-on-one peer support as well as opportunities to connect in group settings. Peer support provides an opportunity to learn from one another to help everyone reach their goals and dreams. In other words, positive outcomes are more likely when people in emotional distress talk with someone who has been there rather than being isolated in the community with little to no support system. Services include wellness, educational, and social activities. All services are voluntary. Guests can come and go as they wish. This includes going to school, work, or appointments. Guests also may access recovery resources in the community. Guests are encouraged to complete wellness plans to help guide their journey. Guests may have visitors during their stay.

The maximum number of guests at each peer run respite is limited by the number of bedrooms. Iris Place in Appleton has five bedrooms. The La Crosse Lighthouse has four bedrooms. Monarch House in Menomonie has four bedrooms. Parachute House in Milwaukee has five bedrooms. The R&R House in Pewaukee has three bedrooms. Solstice House in Madison has four bedrooms. Each guest has their own bedroom and access to shared community spaces. Each bedroom also has a lock box for medications and valuables.

Yes. Guests each have their own room.

Stays typically range from one to seven days.

No. Guests may come and go as they wish. Guests who may be gone for an extended period (24 hours or more) are encouraged to have a conversation with staff to discuss whether a stay at the peer-run respite is still needed.

No. There are no doctors or nurses on staff. Therefore, clinical supports and services like medication management and psychiatric services are not offered. However, staff will support individuals who may be interested in accessing these supports and services in the community. All guests have access to a lock box in their room for prescription medications.

No. There are no participation requirements. Everything is optional.

Service animals are allowed. Due to concerns with allergies and the possible conflicting needs of others staying at the peer-run respite, animals who are not trained to do work or perform a specific task for a person in the way that service animals are trained are not allowed. The peer-run respites may be able to accommodate visits from pets.

There is no guarantee that staff will be available to provide transportation for guests to school, work, or other community activities. However, staff will work with guests to explore transportation options.

Staffing at a peer-run respite

At least one staff member is on-site and awake 24/7/365. During the day and evening, there may be multiple staff on-site to support guests and answer calls.

Each peer-run respite is responsible for staff training and development. Many employees are certified peer specialists, a title earned through formal training and continuing education in the peer specialist model of mental health support. Each location also provides instruction on such topics as crisis de-escalation, cultural awareness, Emotional CPR, non-violent communication, and trauma-informed care.

Last revised March 11, 2023