Rural Homelessness in Northwest Ohio: Reasons, Patterns, Statistics, and Trends.Report as inadecuate

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Rural homelessness in America is difficult to define, to count, and to see. This article reports the findings of a 1993 county-wide study of rural homelessness. During a one year survey, 118 homeless households were interviewed. Of those surveyed, 25.8 percent were male adults, 30.9 percent were female adults, and 43.2 percent were children. Results indicate that differences do exist in the demographic characteristics of the rural homeless population as compared to urban populations. Data from the study indicate that homeless people in rural areas are younger, lack family or friends to rely upon for help, have steady incomes, and are less likely to be disabled. They are also more likely to be homeless because of economic reasons rather than from problems arising from mental illness or substance abuse. The study proves that many individuals and families are unable to secure affordable housing in rural areas. Economic factors were given as reasons for homelessness by 71 percent of the households, with 6.7 percent reporting homelessness due to domestic violence. Some 21.1 percent of the households had received an eviction notice to leave the premises, 33.8 percent reported they were residing with relatives or friends, 16.9 percent were temporarily staying in a motel, 11.8 percent had to leave their own apartment or house due to substandard conditions, 9.3 percent were residing in their car, and 7.1 percent were living in shelters ranging from tents to parking garages. Contains three tables of data and eleven references. (RJM)

Descriptors: Economically Disadvantaged, Family Environment, Family Problems, Homeless People, Housing Deficiencies, Housing Needs, Poverty, Poverty Areas, Rural Environment, Rural Family, Rural Population, Rural Urban Differences

Author: Podlin, Georgette A.


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