Geography of Homelessness


Homelessness is commonly thought to be an urban issue, a perception that is reinforced by the presence of homeless people on the streets of major cities and in the characterization of homelessness in the media. And while homelessness in urban areas tends to be more visible, areas outside of urban centers are also affected by homelessness. The same structural issues that cause homelessness in cities – unaffordable housing and low incomes – exist in rural areas, and contribute to the number of people who are homeless in those areas.

This brief intends to provide some insight into the extent to which homelessness exists in rural and urban areas.