Nonprofit of the Year – Large: Pathfinders

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Pathfinders, an organization that got its start in the basement of St. Mary’s Hospital in 1970, has expanded to include numerous services and resources for homeless and runaway youth in the Milwaukee area. After nearly half a century, Pathfinders assists approximately 7,000 youth per year, the vast majority of them being low-income people of color, and many who are LGBTQI.

With several original programs and a caring staff, Pathfinders aims to serve young people who are under-served in the Milwaukee community. The organization’s New Paths program works with youth who have experienced sex trafficking, a major issue in the city of Milwaukee. Pathfinders also operates a mobile street outreach program, bringing supplies and offering referrals and resources to young adults facing housing insecurity throughout the city.

“Ultimately, our mission is ‘empowering youth—changing lives,’” said Renee Kirnberger, senior vice president of development and communications for Pathfinders. “By listening and learning from our youth, Pathfinders addresses the needs of young people in a way that remains relevant.” 

“The problem (of homelessness) that seems so intractable and complicated is actually quite solvable if we have the individual, political and community will to do so.”

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-Tim Baack, president and CEO of Pathfinders

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