The Challenges We Face
When it comes to prosperity, it has been said that Appalachia has half of the good stuff (such as income, educational attainment, access to financing), and twice the bad stuff (such as unemployment, poverty levels, and subpar housing) when compared to the rest of the country. According to the Housing Assistance Counsel’s 2012 publication, “Taking Stock: Rural People, Poverty, and Housing in the 21st Century, approximately 27 percent of Central Appalachian households make less than $20,000 per year, compared to 18.4 percent across the nation. Long term persistent poverty, lack of economic diversity, the prevalence of substandard housing, limited access to capital, geographic isolation, a growing senior population, outdated infrastructure, and the decline of the coal industry are just a few examples of the circumstances that make Appalachia a difficult place for families and communities to thrive. However, Fahe knows from experience that Appalachia can prosper when communities and families are provided opportunities; and we create such opportunities through access to the resources and expertise local leaders need to serve their communities well. Our Members are the Solution
There are not a lot of organizations or resources available in Appalachia to tackle the need. Fahe Members are unique in that they can handle these tasks and they have access to resources not normally available in our region through Fahe. In addition to being housing experts, Fahe Members are also experts in the areas of leadership, education, health and social services, and economic opportunity. By necessity, Fahe Members have taken a holistic approach to solving for the many needs in Appalachia. Unlike urban centers where you can find groups that specialize in meeting one specific need, the infrastructure of many rural places is lacking and our Members must take up the reigns of multiple tasks or run the risk that no one will offer essential services to their areas. Wearing multiple hats is difficult but our Members ensure their community needs are being addressed. Fahe also knows that allocating money to one need without assessing the whole picture and planning appropriately will lead to wasted finances and missed opportunities. For example, one can’t create jobs without creating adequate housing for the workers. Similarly, you can’t attract potential employers to an area if the infrastructure in the area is subpar. By working closely on so many needs, Fahe Members understand which steps are needed to enact lasting, impactful change.
Fahe Members rely on Fahe for financing, collaboration, innovation, advocacy, and communication. Through Fahe’s in-house services and the connections formed through our Network, Members are able to utilize resources they could not access on their own and they are able to shore up the areas they are not proficient in by allowing Fahe to handle those areas or by collaborating with another Member. In our 30+ years working intimately with our Members, Partners, and Governments from the local to the Federal level, we have developed the insight, knowledge, and connections that allow Fahe to deploy resources and financial investments to greatly leverage their impact in a way that other organizations cannot. Our scope and success makes Fahe an attractive partner for investment and grants because we know how and where the money can create the greatest impact for change, hope and prosperity in Appalachia.