CSI conducts community needs assessment

Regional nonprofit agency may expand services through partnerships

Staff report
Community Services, Inc. is a nonprofit agency providing resource coordination, utility assistance, transportation, and food assistance to residents of 10 counties, including Ellis County, in the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex area.

CORSICANA — Community Services, Inc. (CSI) is a nonprofit Community Action Agency providing resource coordination, utility assistance, transportation, and food assistance to residents of 10 counties in the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex area. A Community Needs Assessment (CNA) was recently completed to ensure that the organization's services are functionally aligned with community needs. This year the in-house Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Program Regional Team conducted the CNA.

The State of Texas, Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) – in alignment with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – requires Community Action Agencies to conduct CNAs to assess community needs and create a Community Action Plan that addresses the needs identified in the assessment.

Daniel Edwards, Sr., MPA, President, and Chief Executive Officer of CSI, stated: "The CNA is a critical part of our strategic planning process. The results will ensure that we utilize resources effectively, and the services we provide will continue to improve the health and well-being of the people we serve."

CSI began in Navarro County in 1966, as a private nonprofit and Community Action Agency. It was founded with a mission to help clients – specifically, low-income citizens in rural areas. CSI's goal is to help clients achieve success through confidential case management, direct coordination of resources and support services. Today, CSI serves a 10-county geographical region identified as Anderson, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Henderson, Hunt, Kaufman, Navarro, Rockwall, and Van Zandt counties.

The CSBG Regional Team collaborated with Daniel Edwards, Sr. and the CSI Board of Directors to conduct the Community Needs Assessment. The methods used during this process allowed the team to gain insight into the available resources in the communities served while determining gaps and barriers to services.

The results of the CNA helped establish a prioritized list of the top needs in each of the 10 counties served, which are as follows: Housing, Education, Health & Social Development, Employment, and Transportation. When appropriately conducted, Community Needs Assessments offer social service agencies meaningful information that contributes to fulfilling the agency's mission. CSI vows to provide support services that empower and enrich individuals, families, and communities directly and through mutual collaborations with community partners leading to self-sufficiency.

The assessment indicated that CSI's current service offering is generally well-aligned with community needs and identifies possible opportunities for service expansion through community partnerships. Community needs varying by county were identified through several surveying means.

A copy of the full report can be obtained at: www.csicorsicana.org .