2022 Annual Report
Building momentum to better serve whole people and whole families
Dear friends and supporters,
On behalf of everyone at Wilder, thank you for all the ways you contribute to our mission and the Greater Saint Paul community. Over the past year we have experienced the ongoing effects of COVID-19, shifted to new ways of working and living, and continued to expect the unexpected. Through all of this change, our staff, volunteers, partners and supporters have provided a solid foundation for Wilder to make a lasting and positive difference. We are grateful for your generosity.
Your contributions helped us reach our goal for the Campaign for Families: Together we raised more than $17 million in support of people and families in Saint Paul! We are proud and humbled by this achievement, but we know the work is just beginning. We have already increased our capacity to help families be healthy, stable and prosperous, and there are many more opportunities on the horizon. I hope you’ll take a moment to read the examples of Wilder’s impact in this report.
With your help, we are building momentum to better serve whole people and whole families. No matter what the future holds for our community, Wilder will be here for good.
Thanks to many generous donors and funders, the Campaign for Families raised $17,200,000 of our $17M goal! Support for the campaign has already made possible:
- The addition of 15 new sites for our school-based mental health services
- The distribution of campaign and COVID-relief funds to support housing stability for 587 families
- The participation of 300 families in our community wealth-building initiative
There’s more to come, including the implementation of a whole-family approach to service throughout Wilder. The whole-family approach will shift our services to meet the interconnected economic, health, and education needs of entire family systems.
Campaign for Families donor Megan Habbe gives so that others can trust what tomorrow looks like
Wilder donor Megan Habbe has witnessed first-hand why our community needs stable housing. In her career and her volunteer work, Megan has seen how housing access helps individuals, families and communities thrive. In Megan’s family life,...More about this story »
Health & Wellness
Wilder Community Mental Health and Wellness provided 2,429 clients and their families with 78,095 service visits last year!
Supporting the next generation of mental health providers at Wilder and in Minnesota
The demand for mental health and substance use services is higher than ever, especially for racially and culturally diverse providers who reflect the communities they serve. Wilder and other Minnesota mental health providers advocate for investments in our state's mental health and substance use workforce, and we've also worked to increase our support for interns at Wilder.
Last year our mental health division trained 24 interns, including our first cohort of students studying for bachelor's degrees! We now train behavioral health professionals from third-year bachelor's degree students to third-year doctoral students.
Sarah brought her daughter to Wilder’s mental health clinic, and found healing for the whole family
Twin Cities physicians Sarah and her husband Joel were shocked two years ago when their high-performing, vibrant youngest daughter experienced a mental health crisis. They brought their daughter to Wilder’s mental health clinic for help,...More about this story »
Healthy Aging and Caregiving Services
Last year 481 older adults and caregivers were supported to age and care in community with Wilder’s Healthy Aging and Caregiver Services.
Wilder Connect provided John and Chris Kuderka with support and respite from Alzheimer's disease
When John Kuderka was diagnosed with severe Alzheimer’s Disease, the social worker assigned to his wife, Chris, and their children shared some valuable advice.
“The social worker told me that I needed respite, that I needed tim...More about this story »
Staff and volunteers at Wilder Meals on Wheels provided 37,019 meals to participants last year!
One Meals on Wheels participant also uses Wilder’s Customized Living Services. When he experienced a decline in his health, we discovered that he required a specific diet to accommodate his religious beliefs. Meals on Wheels changed his meals to meet his dietary need – and his health improved.
Stability & Growth
In 2022 Family Supportive Housing Services aided 1,700 individuals. Services included case management, rental housing subsidies and innovative rental and mortgage support.
Youth exiting homelessness can make a home at Lincoln Place while they pursue goals for stable lives
Sebastian Dina participated in supportive housing services at Lincoln Place several years ago. As Sebastian worked toward stability, he and his partner, Tash, supported each other as they pursued life together and learned new skills. At the Ordinary Magic fundraising event this year, Sebastian and Tash reflected on their experience at Lincoln Place and how they grew together. Read Sebastian's speech.
Margo Leslie and Ann Hagberg have been dedicated volunteers for more than four years at Lincoln Place, a supportive housing development for youth who have experienced homelessness. They work to ensure that every youth who is exiting homelessness and moving into the program feels welcomed and at home with all the essential items needed to comfortably live in their new apartment. Margo and Ann were among the recipients of the 2022 Sandy Kiernat Community Service Award, which recognizes and celebrates outstanding Wilder volunteers.
Early Childhood Education
The Child Development Center provided high-quality early childhood education for 80 students and their families last year.
Dolores Jones’s kids inspire her to volunteer at the Wilder Child Development Center
Dolores Jones first came to Wilder as a parent to children at the Child Development Center. Then she became a volunteer to demonstrate her values for daughter Ce’nia, 4, and son Cashius, 3. “My children are what inspire me to volunteer a...More about this story »
Celebrating our students' success
A child came to the Child Development Center after leaving three previous placements since he was 3 years old. With support and services from Saint Paul Public Schools, the support of his family, and the classroom teachers, he has grown in his speech and language skills and has increased his developmental ratings from not-yet to proficient in many areas. While he may still have struggles here and there, he is ready for kindergarten from a social and academic position.
Supporting children through traumatic events and stress
The Child Development Center is one of nine local early child care centers taking part in "80×3: Resilient from the Start," an initiative by the Greater Twin Cities United Way that equips staff to recognize the effects of traumatic events and support children who are experiencing stress.
Read more about the Child Development Center's work with the 80x3 initiative.
Information & Insights
Last year 169 organizations partnered with Wilder Research to measure and improve program effectiveness, identify needs and solutions, and make data-informed decisions that improve lives. In 2022, Wilder Research:
- Produced 156 reports to inform decision making by organizations
- Had research cited in the media 852 times
- Provided 65,250 hours of consultation
- Added 63 publications to the Research Library to download for free
- Hosted 387 people at Wilder Research presentations and trainings
Meet Heather Britt, executive director of Wilder Research
Wilder welcomed Heather Britt as the new executive director of Wilder Research. Britt joined Wilder in June, and brings 25 years of experience in applied research focused on public health, health equity, and education. She comes to Wilder from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Minnesota, where she helped evolve analytics and data teams toward improved service delivery. Watch the “Meet Heather Britt” video.
Investing in Moms: 10 Years of Evaluating Women’s Recovery Services
Wilder Research has been partnering with Minnesota Department of Human Services to evaluate its Women's Recovery Services program for more than 10 years. The grant program of the Minnesota Department of Human Services Behavioral Health Division supports organizations across the state in providing treatment support and recovery services for pregnant and parenting women who have substance use disorders and their families. Read about the project and reflections on what we’ve learned in the evaluation over the last 10 years.
Wilder Research and MN8 conducted the first community needs assessment to help Cambodian Minnesotans thrive
Minnesota is home to more than 306,000 Asian residents, including nearly 10,600 Cambodian residents. MN8 advocates and provides direct services and support for Southeast Asian Minnesotans who are facing detention and/or deportation. The organization was selected for Wilder Research’s pro bono research and evaluation project, an opportunity for organizations to collaborate on community-initiated research and evaluation. MN8 recognized that the communities they serve had faced unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and knew that the issues and challenges related to immigration existed alongside other critical community needs. Wilder Research partnered with the organization to conduct the first known community needs assessment of Cambodian residents in Minnesota.
“We chose to focus on Cambodian people because of all the Southeast Asian communities, Cambodian-Americans are heavily targeted for deportation,” said Rebecca Chang, organizing director, MN8. “We know that families that have someone facing deportation likely will have additional needs related to employment, language, food security, and other areas.”
Connections & Partnerships
Achievement Plus staff and community partners supported 1,049 students and their families at Dayton's Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary School, John A. Johnson Achievement Plus Elementary School and Saint Paul Music Academy. With the closure of John A. Johnson in summer 2022, Achievement Plus staff and partners now support students and families at Bruce Vento Elementary School.
Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood
The Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood and its partners served 350 families and 780 students throughout the year, including programs to prevent summer learning slide prevention. The Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood is an educational partnership that puts children in the Frogtown, Rondo, and Summit-University neighborhoods of Saint Paul on the pathway to success.
Wilder African American Babies Coalition and Projects
The African American Babies Coalition and Projects collaborated with the Minnesota State House Black Maternal Health Caucus to host a roundtable discussion at Wilder Center on April 12 in recognition of Black Maternal Health Week in Minnesota. AABC also successfully created two curriculums “Moving Beyond Crisis/It’s About Me,” and the “Birthing Fruition 5 Prong Training Cohort.” The R.A.W. Early Childhood Library in the Child Development Center promoting evening reading and family bonding opened October 18. The library is for students and families at the Child Development Center.
15 community leaders deepened their knowledge and engagement with the state legislature through the Community Equity Program.
Artist, advocate, organizer, leader and Community Equity Program alumna María Isa is ready to run for the Minnesota State Legislature
María Isa Pérez-Vega is well known in the Twin Cities as an actor, rapper, international recording artist, youth worker and cultural community organizer. This election season, you’ll see the lifelong Saint Paul resident in a new role: po...More about this story »
Here at Wilder, we welcome and celebrate the diversity of people, experiences and differences to strengthen our workplace and mission.
We believe that diversity of the community we serve must be reflected in every aspect of our organization for Wilder to have the greatest impact with those we serve. Thank you to our diverse and resilient staff who have continued to support families, communities and each other in 2022!
Examining our past to create a future where everyone can thrive
In August 2022, we published a history report that analyzes the origins of the organization through an equity lens. As an organization working toward a future where all people have opportunities to thrive, we must understand how our organization's origins, history and role in community inform our work and relationships today.
Thank You, Supporters
In 2022, 277 volunteers and interns contributed 12,917 hours to support Wilder's mission!
- 239 volunteers contributed 4,814 hours with Wilder’s African American Babies Coalition & Projects, Healthy Aging and Caregiving Support Services, Meals on Wheels, Customized Living, Board of Directors, Child Development Center, Day Treatment, Center for Social Healing, Public Policy, Wilder Research, Lincoln Place, Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood, information technology, communications, fundraising, volunteer services and program operations.
- 38 interns contributed 8,103 hours with Wilder’s Healthy Aging and Caregiving Services, Child Development Center, Volunteer Services, and Mental Health & Wellness Services including Assertive Community Treatment, Day Treatment, School-Based Mental Health, Outpatient Mental Health and Recovery Services.
Wilder donor Vi Hertog’s childhood during the Great Depression inspires a life of giving
Throughout her adult life, Violet Hertog has helped others wherever and however she could. When Violet, better known as Vi, and her late husband John lived in Seattle, she volunteered in food pantries. In cities like Mandan and Jamestown...More about this story »
After two years of reduced in-person contact due to Covid-19, Wilder staff, families, volunteers, donors and community members returned to in-person gatherings! From events as large as Ordinary Magic and the school supply drive to attendance at community events, we found ways to celebrate together and support strong, vibrant communities.
Celebrating Wilder Staff
Wilder staff are part of a community of diverse and passionate individuals who are committed to our mission and dedicated to seeing possibilities and creating smart solutions. Last year, our staff's efforts were recognized both by Wilder and by the community.
Here are just a few of the ways Wilder staff were recognized in 2022.
2022 Kingston Fellows
In March, the twelfth class of Kingston Fellows was named. The 2022 fellows are Justin Hollis, Charlotte Huffaker, Precious Ojika, Molly Rinehart, Maela Seng, Elizabeth Shadeko, Wanda Walker, Ashley West, and Wa Yang.
- Tracy Hilke received the MayKao Hang Courageous Leader Award recognizing Wilder staff who demonstrate leadership related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Dr. Pahoua Yang was named a 2022 Bush Fellow. She wants to integrate traditional healing practices within the formal mental health system to improve outcomes for people and communities.
- Sameerah Bilal-Roby, African American Babies Coalition and Projects Director, received the Community Partners Award from the Ramsey County Birth Equity Community Council and was appointed to Saint Paul’s Financial Empowerment Council.
- Armando Camacho was named one of Twin Cities Business Magazines People to Know in 2022.
- Jennifer Thao was selected as a 2022 Humphrey School Policy Fellow.
- Michelle Decker Gerrard was invited to join the Minnesota Department of Health CDC Center of Excellence on Public Health and Homelessness Advisory Group.
- Julie Atella was elected to the National Alliance on Mental Illness Minnesota Board of Directors.