Document Type



Poverty and homelessness are popularly conceptualized as urban phenomena. This tendency is reinforced by media and lack of academic research and persists despite increasing evidence that poverty and homelessness areas prevalent in rural as in urban areas. This paper compares data collected from educators in several rural and urban counties in Iowa It looks at actual levels of poverty and reported homelessness, and compares the perceptions of the severity and causes of homelessness as reported by rural and urban educators. It concludes that the difficulties faced by poor people in rural areas are compounded by the tendency of small town and rural residents to accept popular conceptions of homelessness and to view poverty and homelessness as resulting from individual failings rather than from societal and community level problems.



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