From Place to Space: Exploring Youth Migration and Homelessness in Rural Nova Scotia


  • Jeff Karabanow Dalhousie University
  • Aube Caila Dalhousie University
  • Ted D Naylor Dalhousie University


The study explored the issue of rural homelessness in Nova Scotia, and the trajectories that rural homeless youth take in their young lives, as they typically leave their rural home to move to an urban centre. While it is certainly true that a large proportion of homeless youth live in large urban centres, the consequence of this narrow focus is a lack of deep understanding about the experiences and trajectories of marginally housed and homeless youth in rural contexts. Keywords: rurality, youth homelessness, rural-urban migration, space versus place

Author Biographies

Jeff Karabanow, Dalhousie University

Karabanow is a professor at the Dalhousie School of Social Work and Cross-Appointed with International Development Studies at Dalhousie University. Karabanow’s research focuses on issues of homelessness, housing, and youth, Karabanow’s teaching interests involve social policy, research methodology, organizational theory and international social work. The author of two books and widely published in many academic journals, Jeff has written about street youth culture in Canada and Guatemala; street youth resilience; street youth communities; organizational culture at street youth agencies; youth shelter life and organizational behaviour. His most recent work chronicles the stages of street engagement and disengagement for homeless and runaway youth.

Aube Caila, Dalhousie University

Caila holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Psychology and minor in French from Guelph University, and a Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation from the University of Ottawa. Currently, a graduate student in the faculty of Health and Human Performance at Dalhousie University her interests lie in marginalized populations and health promotion. Caila is currently a research assistant for Jeff Karabanow's projects: 'Rural Homelessness: Exploring amongst street youth in Halifax' and 'Exiting Street Life: Youth Trajectories out of Homelessness'.

Ted D Naylor, Dalhousie University

A graduate of Dalhousie University, Ted holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours degree, Masters Degree in Sociology, a Graduate Diploma in Public Administration, and studied at the doctorate level (ABD) at the University of Alberta and Dalhousie, with a focus on governance, management and labour. Among other projects, Ted is currently the project co-ordinator of the HRSDC funded 'Rural Homelessness: Exploring amongst street youth in Halifax' and the SSHRC funded 'Exiting Street Life: Youth Trajectories out of Homelessness', both lead by Dr. Jeff Karabanow.