Roots and Routes of Rural Homelessness: A Manitoba Study

Homelessness and mobility in rural contexts are significant issues, despite the fact that awareness about them is limited in contexts like rural Manitoba. Much of the research and literature on issues related to homelessness in Canada take place in urban contexts, and literature that is rural focused is far more prevalent in the United States of America where much larger populations are involved. As a result, there is a need both provincially and nationally to learn more about issues related to homelessness and mobility in rural contexts.

The purpose of the research described in this report was to examine the roots and routes of homelessness in rural Manitoba contexts. We were interested in examining the root causes of individuals experiencing homelessness in rural communities, the routes they took to their current location(s), the services available within rural communities, and the gaps that existed in relation to supports and services available in rural contexts.

This included interviews with seven participants: three individuals and one couple who had experienced homelessness and mobility as well as two community members who had worked with individuals experiencing such challenges. The five initial participants, who all had links to rural communities (past or present), were interviewed in 2021 by the principal investigator (Candy Skyhar). The interviews were audio recorded. The two community members were interviewed (on video) in 2022 by a videographer hired for the project. Analysis of the data took place using audio/video transcripts and involved multiple phases to form our findings. Recommendations that address the findings are included in the full report.

Some of the interviews can also be viewed on the Homelessness Learning Hub.

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