West Virginia Peer Network Announcement
Building Capacity to Increase Permanent Supportive Housing for Vulnerable Populations
The West Virginia Housing Development Fund (WVHDF), in cooperation with the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness and TDA Consulting, Inc. have launched a project called the Rural Supportive Housing Initiative. Using a national HUD grant awarded to Collaborative Solutions, Inc., the initiative recently expanded into West Virginia. We announce today the selection of nine (9) organizations that will form the West Virginia Peer Network.
Rural Supportive Housing Initiative
The Rural Supportive Housing Initiative works with housing developers, service providers, municipalities, and state agencies throughout the U.S. in an effort to increase permanent supportive housing for vulnerable populations, including those living with HIV/AIDS, serious mental illness, substance abuse and disability, and those experiencing homelessness. Vulnerable populations often face housing instability. Stabilizing the household through a safe, decent, and affordable home, allows that household to thrive with positive health outcomes, gainful employment, economic security, and overall greater well-being.
Nonprofit housing developers and service providers that work in rural areas know that a majority of their clients lack access to safe, decent, and affordable homes. Many want to fix this problem but don’t know how to do it. Some are overwhelmed by the housing process while others may think they do not have the resources to undertake housing development. Others may be frustrated by the amount of time it takes. Through the Rural Supportive Housing Initiative, we have launched and supported Peer Networks in rural communities across the country in an effort to increase permanent supportive housing units for vulnerable populations that thrive in a supportive housing environment. In addition to creating more housing opportunities, we also strive to change the systems in which these entities live so that barriers are removed and vulnerable populations thrive just like their fellow citizens.
We work through a Peer Network delivery model, which is a supportive forum for organizations to engage in shared learning, strategize overcoming local challenges, and gain confidence in advocacy efforts to change systems. Participants have a common goal, purpose, and investment in the work. The result is rapport and trust within the group, and a supportive environment conducive to learning and change. Through the Peer Network participants work with skilled trainers and one another to enhance their organization’s capacity to lead their organizations and communities in the creation of permanent supportive housing.
We have now formed and will soon facilitate a Peer Network in West Virginia designed to build the capacity of nonprofit housing development/service organizations; and create partnerships between those developers and service providers in an effort to increase permanent supportive housing in rural West Virginia. The network was formed from an initial list of organizations identified by the WVHDF and the Coalition. And TDA Consulting will hold a kick-off meeting with these selected organizations at the end of November.
If you have any questions about this announcement, please contact Pamela Paige of TDA Consulting at PPaige@tdainc.org.