Our Approach

Learn more about what Pathfinders finds essential to successfully working with the youth we serve.

Positive Youth Development

At Pathfinders, we are committed to enabling a ladder of opportunity for the young people we serve. We treat youth as valuable assets to both our organization and community. We strive to grow leaders from within as much as possible through opportunities such as our youth leadership councils, youth-led programming, volunteer and employment opportunities.

Trauma-INformed care

Trauma-informed care has an overarching impact on all of the work we do at Pathfinders. This approach guides us to figure out the best way to assist them in healing from trauma so they can effectively accomplish the goals they self-identify.

housing first

A guiding principal throughout our organization is the belief that housing is a right, not a privilege. We employ a “Housing First” model, in which we strive to stabilize a young person’s housing as quickly as possible and then provide them with additional services that will fulfill their needs and help our youth achieve the goals they have established for themselves.


We invest in researching and training staff on nationally-certified, best-practice models. We do this because we want to utilize methods that are proven to work. We collaborate with higher educational institutions throughout our community as much as possible to promote innovative and evidence-based approaches for the work we do.

Youth-led programming

At Pathfinders, young people not only receive services and support, but give the same to their peers. Youth have the most important say in the services we provide and HOW we can most effectively provide them. Our youth serve as Peer Advocates, AmeriCorps Members, Youth Leaders and Advisory Board Representatives.