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?
3. Keenly felt economic shifts. Because of these dynamics, when major economic shifts occur, such as a new recreation resort opening or oil and gas activity, a rural community's service and housing infrastructure is much less elastic to mitigate these changes.
This is why we hear of reports of spikes in homelessness in communities like Estevan, SK or Kitimat, BC where economic activity has spurred housing costs to spike, pricing out lower income households. With the opportunity of jobs, migration to these communities increases - further straining services and housing.
When social infrastructure isn't planned and delivered in a coordinated fashion with economic development, strain on vulnerable rural populations can result in housing instability and homelessness: even street homelessness.