Rural Affordable Homes through Land Trusts

With its beaches, forests, farms, and bucolic villages, Orcas Island – a rural island of 5,000 residents off the coast of northwest Washington State – has long drawn honeymooning, whale-watching, kayaking tourists and, increasingly, tech-exec millionaires building luxury homes. But as the “hidden Paradise” reputation of Orcas grew with vacationers and second home-owners, soaring land […]

A Wealthier and Healthier Tax Time

Every autumn, RuFES Network members start gearing up their free tax assistance promotional campaigns and programs. Their aim?  Help low-income rural families file their taxes and obtain the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credits (CTC) for which they qualify. This tax season, you can make even more difference at tax time – by helping low-income […]

Now Enter the Marketplace!

Ensuring Rural Family Health Insurance — As anyone with an ear on the news knows, the new health insurance marketplaces launched October 1. These state-based online health insurance marketplaces, a key feature of the 2010 Affordable Care Act [ACA], offer a singular opportunity for RuFES network members: You can now apply your place-based, RuFES-honed wisdom […]

Saving for a Rural Snowy Day

Maine Centers for Women, Work & Community

MAINE — In the dog days of summer, it’s hard to think about winter, let alone sky-high home heating costs. But low-income rural families in southwest Maine can’t start saving early enough in their Rainy Day Savings Account – a matched savings account that they can use to save up for emergency expenses like an unaffordable […]

College Savings: Big-Sky Style!

University of Montana photo by Wesley Fryer. Shared via Creative Commons.

In today’s uncertain and competitive economy, a college degree is increasingly considered a must-have to get a decent-paying job. Rural residents are less likely than city dwellers to have a college degree. And this is especially true for residents of chronically poor rural communities, a study by the Carsey Institute at the University of New […]

Drive it Down! The High Cost of Auto Insurance for Rural Families

Owning a safe, reliable, efficient and affordable car can help a low-income rural family move from surviving to thriving. Research by the Carsey Institute shows that a good car not only increases a family’s access to jobs, health care, and nutritious food, it can also reduce household expenses and improve a family’s financial outlook. But […]

Making Communities Welcoming: New Faces in Rural Places

We want our families and communities to thrive, and, in order for rural places to succeed, rural communities need to be places that families want to live. One good sign that rural communities continue to be attractive places to live is that many new families are settling down in rural counties, according to recently released […]

RuFES Resolution: Save Strong All Year Long!

The new year is now well underway, but families and communities everywhere are still setting goals for what they hope to accomplish in 2013. We here at RuFES have set the bar high once again, as we continue to work toward all 28 of our family-focused goals to help hard-working rural families get ahead in […]

RuFES Linking to Design Thinking

People live in places. That’s why the Rural Family Economic Success (RuFES) framework uses a place-focused approach to helping families Earn it, Keep it, and Grow it. RuFES starts by learning about the hardworking families in a rural community who are struggling to get ahead. RuFES then examines the barriers that stymie these families’ progress […]

Connecting Youth to Future Economic Success

Percent of Disconnected Youth by County Type, 2006-2010

On December 1, 2012, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released a report drawing attention to the 6.5 million “disconnected youth” in America — young people ages 16 to 24 who are both unemployed and not in school. This population of young people is a serious concern in communities across the country. Youth who lack job skills and early work […]

RuFES is a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group.
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