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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Toward Understanding Homelessness: The 2007 National Symposium on Homelessness Research “Rural Homelessness”
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For the 1998 Symposium on Homelessness Research, rural homelessness was not assigned as a paper topic in its own right. Because of its increasing significance, the authors prepared a paper on rural homelessness for the 2007 symposium. Given the somewhat limited formal research available, the authors supplemented their literature review with information from government documents and technical assistance materials as well as input from an expert panel of researchers and practitioners. The paper summarizes what is documented to date about the characteristics of people who are homeless in rural areas and examines whether rural homelessness and the service approaches to address it can be differentiated from urban homelessness. The authors identify gaps in current knowledge about rural homelessness and recommend new directions for research.