Rural Community Concept


The Rural Community Concept (RCC) is a community setting situated on 80 acres of farm and forested land in North Central Wisconsin. The community is a series of two-bedroom duplexes available for individuals to rent.  The property includes a greenhouse, barn, and shed. This program focuses on a holistic approach to community living by offering housing for rent, vocational training opportunities and social interaction.  The goal for those at the RCC is eventual transition back into their home community or a traditional community setting.

Supports are tailored specifically to the outcomes of each person. The individuals at the RCC are supported by a pool of trained staff who are available 24 hours per day.  Staff work with each person on their outcomes and can respond to emergencies as needed. While initial supports can be more intense and offer both mental health and behavioral crisis intervention, the intention of the program is to reduce these needs over time through utilization of coping skills, recovery management techniques and crisis prevention.     

Fostering side by side work to increase independence.  This path may include:

·         Encouraging participation knowing that it will vary from day to day

·         Teaching new skills and identifying ways to reduce assistance (verbal cues, utilizing pictures, or simply allowing each person to direct the tasks)

·         Developing a daily routine

·         Finding new ways to engage individuals and encourage the growth of natural relationships

Each person is encouraged to make their own choices.  The staff’s role is to educate, acknowledge natural consequences and provide options through the decision-making process.  Staff will offer support while working though the outcome of the choices made.    


Philosophy and Results

The Rural Community Concept creates a unique possibility for individuals who have had limited self-direction opportunities. Allowing people to self-direct their supports and having measurable goals can significantly reduce behaviors that create the need for intensive staff supervision in alternate living and work settings. The true limitation to the individuals we support are not their disabilities, but rather our ability to create and offer supports that can lead to a meaningful day, better quality of life, and skill base that can be used to transfer back into a traditional living environment in the community.

Community Integration and Vocational Services

As a part of each person’s service plan, community outcomes will be developed.  These targeted opportunities to access and participate in the community can range from task-related activities such as shopping for supplies or groceries, to activities like bowling or fishing.  Any variety of individual or group activities are dependent on each person’s outcomes. Individuals can identify at what level and in what ways they would like to participate in the community.  Staff supports are adjusted to match each person’s outcomes.  Individuals go into the community and can also invite community members to come in and join or learn from their experiences. This program is designed to be a stepping stone toward independent living and community based vocational opportunities.  The ultimate goal is for individuals to make natural connections within the community and build natural supports.  

Vocational opportunities are offered on site at the RCC. Supports are tailored to meet the skills, abilities, and interests of each person receiving services. Vocational training and employment at the RCC include, but are not limited to agricultural and greenhouse opportunities, animal care, landscaping, lawn care, woodworking, and cleaning. Outcomes will be customized for each person with the assistance of their support team. Our objective at the RCC is to provide a variety of work opportunities to optimize each person’s success and independence.    

Support the RCC offers:

·         Advocacy

·         Helping connect individuals to resources that may be beneficial to them

·         Community Connecting

·         Money Management and Budgeting

·         Housekeeping

·         Daily Living Skills

·         Medication Assistance and Administration

·         Mental Health Services

·         Vocational Skill Building

·         Emergency and Crisis Response

·         Technology to Support Independence

·         Assistance in home/rental search and completion of paperwork

For inquiries or questions about referrals, supports, or the RCC in general, please email Sarah Hirsch at