The Guidance Center

Strengthening families. Changing lives.

aka TGC   |   Southgate, MI   |

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GuideStar Charity Check

The Guidance Center

EIN: 38-1621700


Nurture development. Foster resilience. Cultivate well-being.

Ruling year info


President & CEO

Mr. Kari D. Walker

Chief Operating Officer

Ms. Laura Huot

Main address

13101 Allen Rd

Southgate, MI 48195 USA

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Formerly known as

Downriver Guidance Clinic

Child Guidance Clinic



Subject area info

Early childhood education

Psychiatric care

Community mental health care

Addiction services

Crisis intervention

Show more subject areas

Population served info

Children and youth


Low-income people

At-risk youth

NTEE code info

Community Mental Health Center (F32)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Early Childhood

Head Start; Early Head Start; Mental Health Services; Supported Services (Parents As Teachers, Community Resource Centers, Parent-Child Play Groups, Mental Health Services, Home-Based Services, Advocacy)

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

Children's Outpatient Program; Home-Based Program; Wraparound; Children's Crisis Screening; Juvenile Justice Services; Prevention and Diversion

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Adult Behavioral Health; Peer Support Services, Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC), Case Management, Substance Use Disorder Services, Assertive Community Treatment, Workforce Development)

Population(s) Served

Case management; psychological; psychiatric; individual therapy; group therapy; occupational therapy; sensory integration; speech therapy; physical therapy; transition planning; guardianship; respite; community living supports; health and nutritional assistance; skill building; advocacy; autism services.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Forensic interviewing, advocacy, medical evaluations, and mental health services for child victims of alleged physical and sexual abuse, severe neglect or trauma. Child abuse prevention and education provided in schools and other settings.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Champions of Wayne, part of The Guidance Center, transforms student obstacles into success through an incentive-based mentoring system to inspire every student to graduate in the best way possible. 260 students from Wayne Memorial High School were part of the program this semester, working with 60 mentors.

Established in 2008, the program combines adult mentoring, academic and life goal setting, and achievement recognition that results in individualized prescriptions for success and financial rewards for students. Champions who successfully achieve their goals for a semester receive a $200 incentive that is celebrated at the Student Achievement Banquet.

Population(s) Served
Young adults

Nurture the Future – a program of The Guidance Center – provides free resources and preventative education in the Downriver area to develop strong families and inspire and assist parents as they raise children.

Through this program, parents and caregivers of children from birth through young adulthood have access to a variety of resources including workshops, support groups, family-centered activities, and informational resources. Since October 2018, Nurture the Future has provided early childhood workshops for parents on a variety of topics delivered by early childhood development professionals. A recent three-year grant has enabled The Guidance Center to also focus efforts on parents of older children and young adults.

Population(s) Served
Young adults
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our vision is that the people we serve will thrive at home, school, work and community life. The agency works to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve which is not limited to, but includes, recovery, employment, mental wellness, school preparedness, and reducing recidivism. As community needs evolve and change, new funders, program models and partnership continue to be sought.

The Guidance Center is unique among social service organizations in that it has a comprehensive array of direct services combined with a collaborative approach to improve the quality of life for individuals and communities. We have developed and are implementing a new and updated comprehensive strategic plan to focus on our priorities and achieve our goals. Recently, our agency has been designated as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC), which is part of a national model to improve services for underserved communities.

The Guidance Center is a large, multi-service non-profit agency that is fully accredited by the Joint Commission. It operates a wide range of programs and services at 23 locations. Our expertise includes mental health and wellness, early childhood education, free preschool for low-income families, intellectual & developmental disabilities services and support, mentoring programs, substance abuse services, workforce development and training, and the Kids-TALK Children's Advocacy Center (the only accredited CAC in Wayne County, MI).

In the 63 years the agency has been in operation, it has continued to grow and add services to meet the ever-changing needs and challenges of the community. The Guidance Center began with a single storefront operation and now includes a main campus with seven buildings as well as a number of other locations throughout the region and in Midtown Detroit. While our programs and services are centered in a particular section of Wayne County (including Detroit), the opportunity for a broader service area continues to be evaluated and pursued.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve


The Guidance Center
Fiscal year: Oct 01 - Sep 30

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 3.45 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 2.3 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 33% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

The Guidance Center

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Oct 01 - Sep 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

The Guidance Center

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Oct 01 - Sep 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

The Guidance Center

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Oct 01 - Sep 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of The Guidance Center’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $911,293 $1,809,083 $1,639,988 $1,715,759 $5,710,214
As % of expenses 2.4% 4.6% 3.9% 4.2% 12.4%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $727,871 $1,649,122 $1,512,689 $1,607,949 $5,583,865
As % of expenses 1.9% 4.1% 3.6% 3.9% 12.1%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $37,571,059 $40,853,985 $44,802,601 $40,606,408 $54,010,383
Total revenue, % change over prior year -1.3% 8.7% 9.7% -9.4% 33.0%
Program services revenue 70.3% 68.9% 65.4% 63.6% 70.3%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.2% 0.1% 0.0% 0.1%
Government grants 23.4% 25.7% 28.7% 31.6% 22.1%
All other grants and contributions 3.4% 2.4% 3.3% 2.2% 3.9%
Other revenue 2.9% 2.7% 2.5% 2.6% 3.6%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $37,400,677 $39,629,581 $41,828,997 $40,884,442 $46,138,743
Total expenses, % change over prior year -2.0% 6.0% 5.5% -2.3% 12.9%
Personnel 77.1% 78.6% 79.6% 80.4% 79.1%
Professional fees 3.8% 3.4% 2.5% 2.2% 3.1%
Occupancy 8.7% 8.3% 7.7% 8.2% 9.2%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 10.4% 9.7% 10.2% 9.2% 8.5%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $37,584,099 $39,789,542 $41,956,296 $40,992,252 $46,265,092
One month of savings $3,116,723 $3,302,465 $3,485,750 $3,407,037 $3,844,895
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $489,792
Total full costs (estimated) $40,700,822 $43,092,007 $45,442,046 $44,399,289 $50,599,779

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 2.0 2.6 3.3 3.0 3.9
Months of cash and investments 3.0 3.6 4.0 4.1 4.9
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 2.8 3.2 3.5 4.1 5.0
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $6,300,174 $8,652,523 $11,406,730 $10,351,693 $15,116,138
Investments $2,926,067 $3,262,562 $2,478,875 $3,744,586 $3,893,045
Receivables $2,717,039 $3,124,726 $3,303,852 $3,078,016 $5,508,982
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $4,988,844 $5,112,614 $5,166,332 $2,152,826 $2,642,619
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 85.3% 88.8% 90.3% 80.7% 70.5%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 18.6% 22.0% 19.9% 17.2% 12.0%
Unrestricted net assets $9,475,280 $11,124,402 $12,637,091 $14,245,040 $19,828,905
Temporarily restricted net assets $1,121,391 $1,307,635 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $1,121,391 $1,307,635 $1,857,565 $1,129,483 $3,389,368
Total net assets $10,596,671 $12,432,037 $14,494,656 $15,374,523 $23,218,273

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

President & CEO

Mr. Kari D. Walker

Kari Walker, who was appointed as the CEO of The Guidance Center in 2010 and has been with the agency since 1996.  He is only the third person to hold the CEO position in the agency's 61-year history.  Walker earned his Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan School of Social Work.  During his time with the agency he has been instrumental in developing new business plans, cultivating public/private partnerships, and creating new service delivery networks to impact the lives of thousands of children and adults in southeast Michigan.  Walker's collaborative efforts have proven successful to the operations at The Guidance Center and have grown the agency's budget from $8 million in 1996 to $44 million today.

Chief Operating Officer

Laura Huot

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

The Guidance Center

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

The Guidance Center

Highest paid employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of highest paid employee data for this organization

The Guidance Center

Board of directors
as of 08/21/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Kevin Fischer

NAMI Michigan

Board co-chair

Mrs. Gillian Bringard Andrews

Cheryl Kohs


Kenneth Russell


John Bussa

Bussa Financial Partners

John Colina

The Colina Foundation

Jerry Dorsey

Wayne County Prosecutor's Officer

John Daly

Benefit Plan Strategies, LLC

Kari D. Walker

The Guidance Center

Tamra Ranck

Volunteer & Philanthropist

Gina Wilson Steward

The Telegram Newspaper

Ron Moran

GHAFARI Associates

Miroslava Orduño Rincón

Kerr Russell

John Gatti

Kerr Russell

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/14/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/14/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.


Fiscal year ending

Professional fundraisers

Fiscal year ending

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 Schedule G

Solicitation activities
Gross receipts from fundraising
Retained by organization
Paid to fundraiser