Rural Alberta Homelessness

This study examined rural homelessness dynamics in 20 communities across Alberta’s economic regions. The primary objective of the research was to develop a preliminary understanding of the nature and context of rural homelessness in Alberta using a comparative lens. The study was limited to rural communities with populations under 25,000 in the towns proper to align methods to a concurrent national study. Homelessness was defined according to the Canadian Definition of Homelessness and the study included both “hidden” and visible forms of homelessnesss, such as rough sleeping, couch surfing and sheltered populations. The researchers conducted a review of the available literature – both from the academic sources and the grey literature of commissioned government and non-governmental organizations reports. Thirty interviews were conducted over the course of the study with local homelessness experts from 20 rural communities and 10 provincial stakeholders. Most participants worked in non-profit or government positions. Interviews were primarily conducted via telephone. Detailed notes were taken during the interviews, which were then developed into community profiles. The data collected from interviews was analyzed thematically to deduce the recurrence of patterns. This report presents a number of key findings, recommendations in building a response to homelessness in rural Alberta and emerging research priorities.

Publication Date: 
Alberta, Canada