Rural Homelessness

HUD, in partnership with USICH and other federal partners, established All Routes Home: Ending Homelessness in Rural America – a strategy to end homelessness in rural communities. This page supports All Routes Home by providing resources to help rural communities address homelessness. Strategies for addressing homelessness that work well in urban areas may not be effective in rural areas. Additionally, resources and infrastructure for providing emergency homeless services and addressing underlying issues that cause homelessness are often scarce. Rural CoCs may utilize these resources when navigating specific programmatic, funding, communication, and geographic circumstances unique to rural communities when providing services to the homeless or organizing a CoC.

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Strategies for Addressing Rural Homelessness

Balance of State Continuum of Care Toolkit

Discusses key areas where Balance of State (BoS) Continuums of Care (CoCs) face unique challenges and highlights what other BoS CoCs have done to address these areas. The toolkit includes access to a robust set of federal and local resources.

Date Published: July 2018

Vets@Home Toolkit: Connecting to Permanent Housing

Provides best practices, key strategies, action items, and considerations for CoCs, Veterans Affairs (VA) partners, and local public officials that can be implemented immediately to focus efforts on ending homelessness for veterans, with special considerations for unique markets such as rural communities.

Date Published: Semptember 2015

Prevention Strategies in Rural Areas

Enables users to learn and share strategies that increase the capacity of rural communities to implement effective homeless prevention strategies and improve planning and support of pioneering developments that can be implemented in rural localities.

Date Published: October 2010

Service Delivery in Rural Areas

Provides CoCs a better understanding of how to: effectively engage the homeless, at risk and special needs populations in their communities; link these populations with needed services; develop strategies for how to work with the community as a whole to recognize the needs of people who are homeless and at-risk and how to best serve these needs.

Date Published: October 2010

Data Collection Challenges in Rural Areas

Provides a summary of and solutions to challenges faced by service providers including: limited resources, broad service offerings for diverse populations, transportation and communication, lack of best practices and training materials, limited funding, capacity and technology.

Date Published: October 2010

Continuum of Care 101

Provides practical information concerning how HUD funds homeless programs and how the local system is organized so that rural CoCs may be more strategic concerning the services they offer and the role they play in the system.

Date Published: June 2009

Governance of Rural CoCs

Rural Governance and Management

Provides information specific to CoCs serving all or some rural areas, such as Balance of State or Statewide CoCs, about various types of governance models and structures.

Date Published: October 2010

Governance and Capacity Building for Homeless Providers in Rural Areas

Explores the unique challenges that rural areas face in terms of organizational management, capacity building, decision-making, and planning.

Date Published: October 2010

Rural Governance and Management Handout

Presents the governance structure for a continuum to manage its year-round and multi-year planning processes effectively.

Date Published: October 2010

Federal Partner Resources

Strengthening Systems for Ending Rural Homelessness: Promising Practices and Considerations

This report by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) explores the unique challenges of building effective rural homelessness response systems and provides an initial set of strategies communities can use to take advantage of their unique strengths.

Date Published: June 2018

SAMHSA Tools and Resources for Specific Populations

Learn how the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) is taking action by creating programs and work initiatives to improve behavioral health of people who live in specific populations such as people who live in rural areas and people experiencing homelessness.

Date Published: Ongoing

Tools and Resources for Rural Issues

National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC) maintains a list of Rural resources on their website.

Date Published: Ongoing

National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services: Homelessness in Rural America Policy Brief

During its April 2014 meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services discussed the unique needs and characteristics of individuals and families experiencing homelessness in rural America.

Date Published: July 2014

USICH Report to Congress on Homeless Veterans

This report provides an assessment by USICH of the efforts by HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program to address homelessness experienced by Veterans in rural communities and on Native American reservations.

Date Published: December 2012