ADRC: A Hidden Gem of Services

Joan Elovitz Kazan


Wisconsin has its share of well-kept secrets but we’re shining a light on one organization serving families throughout the state. The ADRC, the Aging & Disability Resource Center of Milwaukee County is a valuable resource for making vitally important connections.

What is the ADRC of Milwaukee County?

As the gateway to a wide range of services, the ADRC of Milwaukee County offers guidance for the elderly and for people with physical and emotional special needs. “The ADRC is a one-stop shop for answers to all your aging and disability questions as well as the connection point to resources to meet your needs and allow you to remain living independently,” Milwaukee County ADRC Director, Tina M. Anderson, said. “We offer vital information and assistance, connection to community programs, disability benefits specialists and options counseling, as well as the access point for enrollment in the state’s long term care programs,” Anderson added.

Navigating the variety of programs and services Wisconsin offers can be overwhelming and confusing. The Wisconsin ADRC hub model has received accolades in the field and serves as a template for other states including Florida, Georgia and Massachusetts.

Want to access the ADRC of Milwaukee? Just remember the three C’s:

1. Call

2. Click

3. Come In

The ADRC’s fully trained, professional and friendly staff is on hand to offer support and guidance. The Information and Assistance Team will answer your call, respond to your online request or greet you in person. Call 414-289-6874 to chat with a team member who will answer questions and steer you in the right direction. There are two Spanish speaking team members and translation services for other languages are available.

After the three C’s, it’s

time for the three E’s

1. Enter

2. Eligibility

3. Enrollment

Click to access the ADRC via its user-friendly website. Simply fill out the online form at the ADRC of Milwaukee County ( and we’ll respond to guide you through the process.

Come in the ADRC downtown office:

1220 W. Vliet Street, Suite 300

Milwaukee, WI 53205.

After entering the ADRC system, the next step is to assess your needs and eligibility for community programs such as transportation, dementia care, home delivered meals and publicly funded long term care. This allows ADRC’s professionals to figure out the best resources for your unique situation and needs. The transition back to in-person visits is ongoing, since Covid forced visits to go online. This assessment will likely be an in-home visit. If you are found eligible for the state’s publicly funded long term care programs, you have the option to enroll in one of the following programs: Family Care, Partnership, PACE, and IRIS. Each of these programs is operated by independent agencies.

Once enrolled in an agency, that agency’s representatives will work with you directly. The placement process is fully consumer driven and ADRC team members don’t counsel or make recommendations. Placements aren’t necessarily permanent and you can contact the ADRC anytime to start the process over.

In 2019, when Milwaukee County declared racism a public health crisis, the ADRC was quick to respond. “We continue to live up to the commitment to provide services to everyone who needs them with a particular focus on underserved communities and communities of color. Through training, investment of resources, community engagement and service delivery practices we keep racial equity at the forefront of our operation.” Anderson explained.

According to a report from the National Conference of State Legislatures, Wisconsin led the way in the late 1990s as a model ADRC; this organization has been working for Wisconsin families for almost thirty years.

We’re putting the ADRC of Milwaukee County on the list of things to love about Wisconsin, right up there with great sports teams and midwestern friendliness. We at Friendship Circle recognize the importance of accessing resources and we’re proud to partner with the ADRC of Milwaukee County to connect families with agencies that can help make every aspect of their lives better.