Homelessness in a Resource-dependent Rural Community: A Community-based Approach

Pushpanjali Dashora, Shiva Kiaras, Solina Richter


Research surrounding the experiences of homeless individuals living in rural resource-dependent towns is lacking in the literature. In order to understand the needs and experiences of the homeless adults, it is useful to consider their needs from their own perspectives as well as those who provide services to them. Guided by the principles of participatory research methodology with marginalized individuals, this exploratory study seeks to gain an in-depth understanding of homelessness in a resource-dependent town by using a community based visual research method. Fifteen homeless adults and eight stakeholders were included as participants in this study. Findings of the study show that the use of a community based visual methods approach provided the homeless participants a platform to be heard. The homeless participants shared their needs and a variety of challenges that are unique to a boomtown. The results of the study also reveal that a community-based methodology is useful in communication between stakeholders and homeless participants.

Keywords: homelessness, rural Canada, resource-based towns, services, community-based visual research method

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The Journal of Rural and Community Development is supported by SSHRC.