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    Collaborative Solutions Inc., (CSI) a national nonprofit organization, provides technical assistance (TA) and training, organizational capacity and leadership development, advocacy and policy development, and planning, research and evaluation services to communities and nonprofit organizations in the Southeast and across the U.S. As a part of our national TA, CSI has intentionally focused on increasing the capacity of rural providers to better serve the vulnerable populations that live in rural communities. We began this work in 2004 in the Southeast to address the significant lack of safe and affordable homes for vulnerable individuals and families in the South, particularly in rural communities, and the multiple disparities rural communities face with the lack of infrastructure, affordable public transportation, and the lack of access to health care. CSI believes that housing is health care and that housing, as a structural intervention, has the potential to stabilize a household through a safe, decent, and affordable home, which in turn allows that household to thrive with positive health outcomes, gainful employment, economic security, and overall greater wellbeing.

    The Rural Supportive Housing Initiative is an ongoing project at CSI. Through this Initiative we work with organizations and communities to improve and increase permanent supportive housing (PSH) for vulnerable populations in rural communities across the U.S. We do this by providing capacity building support to nonprofit service providers, housing development organizations, CDCs, CHDOs, local governments, and Indian tribes. Although we can and will work with any of the identified beneficiaries, we are particularly interested in working with nonprofit service providers that want to create permanent supportive housing opportunities for the vulnerable populations they serve.

    Many rural service providers recognize the need for more housing options for their clients, although they often feel they do not have the time or resources to create those housing opportunities. CSI’s team of staff, partners, and consultants have extensive experience providing housing and development consultation and individualized training. Through the Rural Supportive Housing Initiative, many organizations in rural areas across the country have learned how to navigate the complex process of developing affordable housing with support services. If your organization is interested in learning more about the Rural Supportive Housing Initiative, please call or email Ashley Kerr at 205.939.0411 x 215, ashley@collaborative-solutions.net.