Build the Pathway Home

Strengthening Oshkosh’s Housing Continuum

From parents with children to the elderly to high school seniors who have been kicked out of their homes and children who have aged out of foster care, a wide range of people experience homelessness in the Oshkosh area. Too often, they find themselves with nowhere to go in the scorching heat or freezing cold. Currently, the housing continuum in Oshkosh lacks the range of housing options needed to fully serve people experiencing homelessness to ensure they can live lives of dignity. These gaps make their journey hard to navigate. At the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, we’re leading the charge to fill these gaps within our community’s housing continuum. Working with leading non-profit organizations, we’ve set a goal of better supporting individuals experiencing homelessness in Oshkosh.

Gaps within Oshkosh’s Housing Continuum

While Oshkosh’s housing continuum includes a wide range of resources, including a warming shelter, emergency shelter, food banks and free medical clinics, gaps remain:

  • Due to staffing, resources and seasonal limitations, emergency shelters do not always have beds available.
  • Limited transitional shelter options are available to those experiencing homelessness.
  • Job skills, life skills training and mental health services may be difficult to access from homeless shelters, requiring significant coordination and/or transportation.
  • Affordable housing vouchers often include months-or years-long wait lists, making it difficult to transition to permanent housing for people who experience homelessness.


In our community, people experience homelessness due to many contributing factors:

  • Lack of access to mental health care
  • Drug or alcohol addiction
  • Lack of life skills or job skills
  • Financial challenges
  • Fines and court concerns
  • Family issues
  • And, many, many more

“Homelessness is so much more than not having a home. Individuals need job skills, health and mental well-being and social connections to live independently. Those are the things that make self-sufficiency sustainable.” —Karlene Grabner, Director of Donor Services

Build the pathway home: solutions to Help end homeslessness in oshkosh

In the first phase of the project, the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation is bringing together local organizations to help those experiencing homelessness gain the skills and support they need to reach their full potential. The Build the Pathway Home campaign seeks to help individuals experiencing homelessness find transitional shelter, support, transitional services and, ultimately, self-sufficiency.

The first initiative in ‘Building the Pathway Home’:

  • The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation has purchased a building from Father Carr’s Place 2B to help address gaps in the housing continuum related to transitional shelter.
  • COTS will lease the building and operate a transitional shelter and support center.
  • Father Carr’s Place 2B will continue to offer shelter at 1062 N. Koeller St. to individuals experiencing homelessness and will work with COTS to expand its programming to support individuals’ journeys to self-sufficiency.

Help build the pathway home

With your help, we can close the gap in Oshkosh’s housing continuum. Let’s work together to help support individuals experiencing homelessness gain the skills they need to find the pathway home. This plan takes a holistic approach that goes beyond the basic necessities such as food and temporary shelter. Help us “Build the Pathway Home” to reach the Oshkosh community and beyond.