Josh Henges awarded Pinnacle Prize for work with Kansas City’s houseless population

by Steve Kraske, Elizabeth Ruiz | Listen to newscast: KCUR’s “Up To Date”

The Pinnacle Prize, established by philanthropist Kenneth and Ann Baum, is awarded each year to two Kansas Citians 40 years and younger who have shown a commitment to improving the lives of residents. Josh Henges, the city’s first homelessness prevention coordinator, is one of this year’s winners.

Josh Henges has committed his professional career to working with unhoused individuals. In January 2022, Kansas City, Missouri, named Henges the city’s first homelessness prevention coordinator, charged with guiding and implementing strategic policies to address at-risk and unhoused individuals.

Henges, along with Lyrik’s Institution founder Kyle Hollins, are the winners of the 2023 Pinnacle Prize award, a cash prize given to young leaders making an impact within the Kansas City metro.

“In some cases, these are folks who have started an organization or an initiative. In other cases, these are folks who’ve stepped into a leadership role of an existing organization but through their leadership, they’ve transformed that role, that organization in a meaningful way,” said Maurice Watson, advisor to Ann Baum — one of the philanthropists behind the Pinnacle Prize.

Henges describes the job as hard, incremental work, but a passion he was born with.

“This is the hardest job I’ve ever had,” Henges said. “But the fire just doesn’t go out.”

  • Maurice Watson, a principal and partner with the firm Credo Philanthropy Advisors, and advisor to Ann Baum
  • Josh Henges, homelessness prevention coordinator, Kansas City, Missouri

Listen to newscast: KCUR’s “Up To Date”

About the Pinnacle Prize

The Pinnacle Prize was founded in 2021 by G. Kenneth and Ann Baum. With a long-standing civic spirit, the Baum’s wish is to help Kansas City reach its full potential by investing in dedicated, passionate, young leaders working to improve the quality of life for all Kansas Citians – especially those who need support the most. Learn more at