In a study of 22 Canadian rural communities, Jeannette Waegemakers Schiff and Alina Turner researched the dynamics behind rural homelessness and tried to discern what exactly makes it distinct from its urban (and much more visible) counterpart.
So, what's so different about rural homelessness?
2. A strained housing and service infrastructure. Bigger communities often note the lack of affordable housing and essential supports (mental health, addictions, domestic violence services, etc.) to be a major challenge in addressing homelessness. In rural centres, this issue is even more acute. There simply isn't enough funding and service capacity to offer diverse supports needed. When it comes to assisting homeless persons with complex addictions and mental health issues, these communities have to point people to move to larger centres. Many rural communities don't have formal rental sectors, never mind affordable housing stock. Transportation, especially in remote communities, complicate access further - some towns simply don't have any public transportation whatsoever; some are only reachable by propeller plane.