Introducing our New Rural Navigation Day

In June 2022, a small group of non-profits got together in the basement of the Cactus Hotel and held their first Homeless Navigation Day, an event designed to connect struggling neighbors with direct services such as haircuts, state benefit navigation, or bus passes. On that first day, only 6 non-profits were set up and 25 homeless neighbors attended. Two years later, Homeless Navigation Day is now in its third location with over 20 organizations and over 100 households attending each event.

Looking at the growth of this event, we’ve begun to notice that a large number of people who attend Navigation Days are housed and struggling. This new group of attendees are those on the verge of homelessness, families that are treading water but are one medical bill or unexpected expense away from sleeping outside as well. It was at this time that CVCAA Board Member Mikki Hand, Executive Director of Frontera Health, voiced her desire to see more of an agency presence in our rural counties. Other rural board members agreed that many neighbors across our service area do not know what resources are available or who to call to get connected. Thus, Rural Navigation Day was born.

We are taking the Navigation Day model on the road to combine the outreach efforts of numerous agencies to make the maximum impact. Like the original program, Rural Navigation Days will not be a resource fair format where attendees are given flyers and pamphlets to refer to later. Instead, agencies will be there to assist them in real-time, such as getting seen by a doctor with La Esperanza’s mobile clinic, applying for weatherization with a staff member, or leaving with a free hygiene kit.

Most of our community partners cover the same 11-county service area as CVCAA, including Coke, Concho, Crockett, Irion, Kimble, Menard, Reagan, Schleicher, Sterling, Sutton, and Tom Green County. We are beginning to try Rural Navigation Days with the remainder of 2024 so that in 2025, we will be able to hold 2 navigation days a year for each county. We piloted our first Rural Navigation Day in Menard County from 10 am-2 pm on Monday, June 17th at the First Methodist Church. For our first event, we had an amazing turnout. The services that were provided are below.
menard navigation day

June 17th, 2024 Menard Co. – First Methodist Church
  • 26 Total Households
  • 6 Agencies/Organizations
    • 12 people received hygiene kits from CVCAA
    • 10 people asked questions about Texas State Benefits with CVCAA Staff, with two people completing a SNAP application
    • 8 people received Detera or Naloxone kits from ADACCV
    • 3 people (at least) received blood pressure checks from Frontera Health Care
    • 2 people received help obtaining their state ID with Goodwill Career Center
    • 1 person received help obtaining their birth certificate with Goodwill Career Center
    • 1 person applied for CVCAA’s Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program
    • 1 person applied for CVCAA’s Weatherization Program
    • 1 person applied for counseling services with West Texas Counseling & Guidance

We are currently planning for our next Rural Navigation to be in Irion County near the end of July.