About OFS

Our Vision: Every youth in Dane County has a path to self-sufficiency.

Our Mission: Operation Fresh Start provides disconnected youth a path to self-sufficiency.

A non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, Operation Fresh Start has provided comprehensive employment and training services to over 7,000 youth and adults in Dane County, Wisconsin, since 1970.

Operation Fresh Start (OFS) is best known for its core program, titled Pathways. Pathways’ chief training approach is to renovate or construct single family houses for sale to low and very-low income first-time homebuyers. In addition, we have added extensive conservation work (improving Dane County parks) to the Pathways work platform. The housing and conservation sites are the vehicles for employment training and are at the center of a comprehensive program of educational and support services. Instruction in basic skills and preparation for the high school equivalency examination, instruction in independent living skills, leadership development, counseling, pre-employment skills training, placement in a job or post-secondary education, and supportive follow-up are vital components of the program.

In recent years, we have diversified our programming to serve more young people ages 16-24. New programs, such as Options, Transitions and Grad Crew help fulfill OFS’ mission of providing disconnected youth a path to self-sufficiency.