When welfare reform of the 1990s made it necessary for many Tarrant County families to become economically independent, it was clear that there was a need for a service to provide tools and strategies for becoming self-sufficient.
Pathfinders was established to provide sustained assistance for families to become self-sufficient. We advocate strategies for families that create ladders out of poverty and lead to financial stability.
In October 1997 Family Pathfinders was formed with the goal of enlisting community support for welfare reform efforts by partnering with faith and civic groups to match volunteer mentors with families on their journey to self-sufficiency.
Originally named Tarrant County Family Pathfinders, the organization was incorporated as Family Pathfinders of Tarrant County, Inc., a 501 (c)3 organization. The name was later shortened to Pathfinders. Since our founding, we have expanded our mentoring program to serve additional low-income clients, veterans, and the reentry population. In addition, we have broadened our programming to include financial capability and job readiness services.
The expansion of services was only possible due to the expansion of financial support. Funds to support Pathfinders come from our annual luncheon, donations, corporate partnerships, family foundations, state and federal grants, and faith organizations. Each year more than 100 volunteers contribute over 1,000 hours of service to Pathfinders. We welcome individuals, families, local businesses, civic groups, and faith organizations, and all those who wish to serve.
Pathfinders is a recognized leader in adult mentoring and financial capability. In 2007, our Adult Mentoring program was recognized as a Best Practice by the Urban Partnership Initiatives of the Department of Health and Human Services. Since 2012, Pathfinders has received the Top-Rated nonprofit designation annually from GreatNonprofits. After completing a rigorous review process Pathfinders was designed as a Platinum Star charity through GuideStar. As a data-driven organization, Pathfinders was recognized as a CNM Certified organization in 2021. Pathfinders is committed to providing a flexible work environment for working parents, and as such, Pathfinders was named a Best Place for Working Parents in Fort Worth in 2020 and 2021.