Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean

Crisis Housing Director

Kathy returned to Pillars as the Crisis Housing Director in April 2022. In this role, Kathy oversees all Crisis Housing sites, including the Adult Shelter, Adult & Family Shelter, and Resource Center, serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness. She started at one of the legacy organizations (Homeless Connections, then the Emergency Shelter of the Fox Valley) in 2014 as a Shelter Client Advocate. She worked as a Case Manager for several years before becoming the Shelter Manager at the Adult and Family Shelter. Through her experiences with these diverse roles, she gained a deep understanding of homelessness in the Fox Cities and built a strong network of community partnerships working together to solve homelessness and housing instability in our community.

During her time away from Pillars, Kathy served as the Client Services Director at LEAVEN, where she assisted community members experiencing a financial crisis by providing financial assistance as well as resource coordination and case management to address their near-term and long-term basic needs. Prior to her work in the non-profit sector, Kathy managed and facilitated a home-based private educational program for 15 years.

My favorite part about my job is sharing the passion I have for serving our clients with my team members. I enjoy advocating for our clients, building strong collaborative relationships with community partners, and working towards positive change in our community.

In her off hours, Kathy enjoys hosting gatherings for family and friends, gardening, kayaking, hiking, and traveling. In addition, she provides end of life support and respite to patients and families as a hospice volunteer for ThedaCare At Home. Kathy previously spent time volunteering for the History Museum at the Castle, 4H, Girls Scouts of America, and MTV Arts.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I get my inspiration from my late mother, who raised me and my sisters in poverty. She demonstrated grace, resilience, and humor. She taught us that it is better to give than to receive, and to find joy and laughter through the good times as well as the hard times.

What is your favorite quote?

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi


920.734.9192 ext. 122