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2023 Annual Report


Dear friends and supporters of Wilder,

Thank you for your support during a year that has been challenging in many ways: a lack of affordable housing, continued trauma from the pandemic and rising inflation. Every day, our team witnesses amazing successes that impact people and families not only today, but for future generations as Wilder and our communities evolve forward. 

Armando Camacho

Wilder is on a journey to evolve the ways we serve people, families and communities. The people and families we serve are on a journey toward economic stability, mental wellness, and physical health. We walk together with Saint Paul families, cheering each other on and celebrating the milestones. Our compassion is matched by a data-led approach in collaboration with Wilder Research that helps us meet the evolving needs of the community. Through the strength of our donors, volunteers, funders, partners and community members, Wilder’s mission is made possible. 

The values, identities, hopes, and dreams of the people and communities we serve have propelled us into a positive present and positioned us for a thriving future. We invite you to journey with us and experience the world of Wilder through our 2023 annual report.


Armando Camacho signature

Armando Camacho
President & CEO

Get to know Wilder's leadership.

A state of Hope

One word, four letters: a momentous feeling that brings about innovation, ideas, and action. That’s hope.

Life is a journey and Wilder supports people on the various pathways they travel — from birth to later years. Each person deserves to live well and to their fullest potential. We’re advancing toward that reality through our Whole Family Approach, which is shifting our work to meet the interconnected economic, health, and educational needs of entire family systems. The belief that families are an incredible vessel for change has resulted in the creation of a corresponding framework that runs throughout Wilder. By implementing this new approach and mindset, the deep connections and community collaboration needed to help humans thrive has space to breathe and grow. 

From internal implementation to intentional action, here are ways we are seeing this work be of value to our communities:

Woman standing behind podium with four people behind her
Sonya Carruthers, a family peer specialist at Wilder, shared how she builds trust with families during the Mental Health Legislative Network press conference in March 2023.

Wilder Community Mental Health and Wellness provided 2,654 people and their families with 85,261 mental health and substance use recovery services during the 2023 fiscal year, helping them set their lives on a strong foundation for success. We’re proud of our efforts to ensure mental health systems work for all, respond resiliently to changes in the world, and provide faster support. 

Small children watch as author Thuba Nguyen reads her book in the R.A.W. Library at the Wilder Child Development Center
Author Thuba Nguyen reads to children at the R.A.W. Library inside the Child Development Center.

In the Economic Stability and Aging Services area of Wilder’s work, 76 families learned and grew with expanded resources and high-quality early childhood education at the Child Development Center, 1,510 individuals found support to leave or prevent homelessness through Family Supportive Housing Services, and 540 elders and caregivers accessed Wilder for support in aging in the community of their choice.

72 families joined the first cohort of Rai$e in January 2023.

Wilder launched Rai$e, a guaranteed income program that provides families $500 a month for 12 months. 72 families took part in the first cohort program with the additional income giving them a boost to make ends meet and the ability to control their own financial decisions. A second cohort launched later in 2023.

Seven Wilder Research staff pose together at the 2023 Minnesota Homeless Conference
Wilder Research staff at the 2023 Minnesota Homeless Conference in Duluth, Minnesota.

Wilder Research partnered with 164 organizations to measure and improve program effectiveness, identify needs and solutions, and provide data to make decisions that improve lives. We produced 200 reports, presented to more than 700 people and provided 60,171 hours of consultation.

Wilder's mission requires us to continuously and authentically show up for one another. Our work with people and families, partners and communities results in tangible displays of impact through metrics and stories.

Accessing Stability with Adira

Woman standing in front of apartment building

Adira pursued her goal of a stable life for her family with support from multiple services at Wilder, including supportive housing services, Direct Housing Assistance, and Rai$e. Read about her journey.

Understanding homelessness so we can end it

Two men are seated at a table in a busy room, conducting a survey interview.

On October 26, Wilder Research staff and approximately 1,000 volunteers interviewed thousands of Minnesotans experiencing homelessness in the 2023 Minnesota Homeless Study.

Finding support for older adults and caregivers


Chris Kuderka shared her experience with Wilder's Healthy Aging and Caregiving Services at Wilder's Ordinary Magic gala in May 2023. Read about Chris and her late husband John. 

These examples are part of a larger movement of good that stems from Wilder’s work and relationship building. In the center of our world is family. We start when people come through our doors, regardless of life stage, and support their journey from that point onward.

A community of action
524 volunteers

524 volunteers and interns provided 18,568 hours of service to the community.

32,000 meals

32,000 meals were delivered to Meals on Wheels recipients.

164 Organizations

164 organizations used research and evaluation services to help communities thrive by turning information into impact.

This year was filled with vibrant milestones along Wilder’s journey to make our positive vision a reality. Through responsive action, meaningful collaboration, and intentional research, we are setting the stage for lasting change. Here are few highlights of our forward movement:

Responding to needs in the Afghan community

Graphic with two adults and a child and a pink decoration

Wilder’s community includes people and families from many cultures, backgrounds, and life experiences. This year we’ve expanded the tapestry of our network to include the Afghan community. In collaboration with Ramsey County, the Wilder Center for Social Healing has welcomed two Afghan staff members and now offers tailored programming for individuals and groups.

Systems change through advocacy and community leadership

Pahoua testifying

For the vision Wilder has to fully take hold, inclusive and supportive policies must run alongside strong programming. Wilder’s public policy team works to change systems through advocacy and community leadership programming. Staff, partners, client communities, and program participants increased representation in positions of power, paved the way for significant legislative victories, and created opportunities for community leaders and experts to influence public policy in Minnesota.

Deepen engagement of BIPOC communities

Nineteen diverse community leaders completed the Community Equity Program, where they found support in amplifying their voices at the Capitol. Three alumni have been elected to public office (two serving in the Minnesota House of Representatives and one serving as a mayor)!

CEP 2023 graduation group

Together, we're designing and operating intentionally to reflect people’s stories. The expansiveness of what it means to do this work requires deep intentionality around how we include, inform, and invest. 

Wilder Research is an avenue through which we aim to have our actions and programs be community-informed, people-centered ventures. A recent Minnesota Compass report highlights data that further solidifies the need for this particular area of Wilder’s work: 14 of the 27 measures of quality of life were flagged as trending in the wrong direction.

It’s critical that we capture and share this information so that Wilder and others in the community can take action.

In 2023, Wilder Research:

Partnered on two pro bono projects

A line of eight people smiling with hands overhead at Wilder Center

Wilder Research provided pro bono evaluation services to the Healing Justice Foundation and Telling Queer History. Healing Justice Foundation was founded to build infrastructure where local, state, national, and social agencies have failed Black people. The Healing Justice Foundation project identified providers and allies, needs, and recommendations to address community needs during incidents of violence and trauma. 

Telling Queer History was created as a response to the erasure of LGBTQ+ history in public spaces and with a desire to create more intergenerational, intersectional spaces. For TQH, we measured and documented their impact through survey development and conducting interviews with storytellers and event participants. Read about Telling Queer History's pro bono project.

Served as an evaluation partner with African American Babies Coalition & Projects

Six staff and partners of African American Babies Coalition posing together  at Wilder Center

Wilder Research worked as an evaluation partner with the African American Babies Coalition & Projects (AABC) and worked to create an equitable health care system that has the capacity to provide culturally responsive care so that African American families can thrive. Wilder Research also helped AABC develop a survey manual on managing surveys and create a system to compile survey data across events and years. These tools will help AABC assess whether each event or training is having the desired impact.

Partnered with Red Lake Nation for a population projection study

Children sitting in a line in a gymnasium on the Red Lake Nation

Wilder Research partnered with Red Lake Nation to conduct a population projection study to help Red Lake Nation and its Tribal members better understand declining population trends as well as the impact of Tribal membership criteria. This is the start of creating a dialogue to build possible solutions that ensure the future of Red Lake Nation. Watch the video.

Perpetual Motion

 The individuals, families, businesses and institutions who give to Wilder make our mission possible. Thank you!


Celebrating Wilder at Ordinary Magic

Guests at Ordinary Magic raising their hands to bid on auction items with a decal indicating $375,000 raised

Held in spring 2023, Wilder’s annual celebration and fundraiser, Ordinary Magic, was a resounding success! One evening of celebrating the milestones and forward movement of our community led to $375,000 in funding for our programs. 

A century-long connection to Wilder

Craig & Kathy Binger

Over the course of a century, Craig and Kathy Binger have been connected to Wilder. From the Bingers we’re able to unearth how being “here for good” is passed along throughout generations. We invite you to read Craig and Kathy's story about why Wilder’s work matters today, tomorrow, and into the future. 

Supporting families with the School Success Supply Drive

A row of six staff and volunteers who packed backpacks for students served by Wilder

Backpacks are a mainstay in the K-12 world. Wilder, in partnership with community partners and volunteers, provided approximately 2,000 children in Wilder programs with backpacks and school supplies, and we’re already gearing up for our next supply drive in 2024! The annual School Success Supply Drive helps address equity in our schools and in our community by providing more students the tools they need to be successful. 

Contributions from donors and supporters are more than monetary currency. They represent community, relationships and resources. It takes each of these parts to make a whole — a wholeness that is reflected in the mission we’re closer to attaining and the dreams of community that can be reached. The community that Wilder nurtures includes the people we serve, our internal team and our partners and community members that we work alongside on our journey to usher in goodness for all. It takes investment from the entire community to ensure that we’re moving forward in our fullest potential. 

Here is a deeper look at how we have used our funding over the past year:

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Expenses graphic

Find financial statements and more information about Wilder’s financial accountability.

Support for staff to learn and grow

Kingston fellows 23

We’re ensuring our teams not only reflect the communities that we serve but that they are nourished and have resources to lead and grow as professionals. Wilder supports staff with gaining advanced degrees and training, empowering and providing opportunities for our diverse staff, 52% of whom identify as a person of color. 

This year, six employees received Kingston Fellowships, which provide the opportunity to develop a highly effective, culturally competent set of leaders and promote ongoing improvement of human services in the entire community. 

Wilder is thrilled for what 2024 and beyond has to offer.

We’ll remain steadfast to using a Whole Family Approach to nurture our neighborhoods, and we will lean in to the values that guide how we work together:

pink circle with outline of head and heart in center

We listen with intent to the people most affected so we can be part of the solution.

green circle with outline of hands and heart in center

We act with kindness toward families, communities and each other.






gold circle with outline of hands nearly touching each other

We build trusting relationships knowing each person and community has their own answers.





blue circle with outline of hands clasped together and a red heart in the center

We take action with others to challenge systems so all people and communities can reach their goals.