Funding Update Follow Up

Publish Date: April 15, 2024

Dear Friend,

In January, I shared the unfortunate news that Pathfinders will receive a 70% federal funding cut (totaling about $600,000 annually) later this year that will lessen available anti-sexual violence resources for the youth and young adults we serve.

This reduction will affect all organizations responding to the needs of those experiencing sexual and domestic violence throughout the state.

As you know, young people who’ve experienced housing instability and sexual violence, especially youth of color and those who identify as LGBTQ+, are more vulnerable and have a higher risk of being sexually exploited.

You also may have read recent news that Governor Evers signed a bipartisan $10 million funding bill that aims to help organizations, like Pathfinders, serving victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.

This is great news and we are grateful for the leadership of the Governor and state legislature to prioritize this new funding source. However, the original federal loss is $25 million. With less funding, services will still contract this fall.

At this time, here’s what we know:

    • Federal funding is capped by Wisconsin at $250,000 per organization, which remains a $600,000 reduction in our current work.
    • We are optimistic about the new $10M state funding, though we don’t know if it will come before the federal funding loss occurs. We do expect increased competition for dollars, as well as increased time spent on applications and reporting.
    • In addition, we continue to explore new funding sources to fill in as many gaps as possible.

We are thankful for the relationships of so many partners and donors that allow us to address the needs of Milwaukee’s most vulnerable young people. We will keep you informed of any need to make major alterations to the sexual abuse, exploitation, trafficking and housing services offered at Pathfinders.

This news comes at a time when we honor survivors of sexual violence, as April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. If you can, please consider supporting our work in one of the following ways.

    • Reach out to Governor Evers and/or your state legislative representatives to thank them for their leadership during this funding crisis and support of 2023 Wisconsin Act 241, which allocates $10M in state funds to sexual violence services.
    • Wear Denim on April 24 to honor the 25th anniversary of Denim Day. Join millions wearing jeans to take a stand against victim-blaming in honor of Denim Day. Visit Denim Day’s website to learn more.
    • Attend Pathfinders annual spring event, Streets – An Evening for Youth Empowerment – on April 25 to learn more about and support our work. Informed by this funding update, the Streets registration deadline has been extended to Friday, April 19. Register or donate here.

In the meantime, we appreciate your continued partnership in this important work.


Tim Baack
President & CEO

Want to learn more about Pathfinders’ services for youth experiencing sexual exploitation? Contact Pathfinders’ Development Team at

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