During the month of March, ICPH continued to engage in a national discussion on the rapid growth of student homelessness in rural America. From insightful and informative survey responses, to in-depth and engaging articles, the conversation shifted to the often overlooked issue of rural homelessness and the challenges faced by homeless students in these communities.

"Rural areas have to get very creative in addressing these issues and working with the few resources we have in the community," said an Ohio school administrator who responded to ICPH's March 2019 survey.

ICPH learned from those working with rural homeless students about what student homelessness looks like in their communities and the ways that schools are improving the identification of this population. "In order to improve, we are looking at implementing centralized registration in order to better identify incoming transient families," explained one survey participant. Another survey respondent told ICPH, "we've added a Residency Questionnaire as part of the enrollment pack for every student at beginning of the year." The same respondent added that they, "trained bus drivers and gave them referral forms" for students who were potentially experiencing homelessness.

Respondents added that some of the biggest challenges in addressing rural student homelessness include the distance between shelters, lack of transportation, social/emotional issues caused by homelessness and other trauma, and a need for more resources to support these families, including food for hungry students.

Are you seeing something different in your community? We'd love to hear from you:
The Nation

Journalist Jake Bittle explores ICPH's report and the plight of the "hidden homeless"—individuals and families who don’t have permanent housing but aren’t sleeping rough in a big city. "Compared to the urban homeless, this population has less access to shelters and supportive services and are rarely counted, making them all but invisible to policymakers."
Billings Gazette

Montana has seen homelessness more than double among rural students in a four year period. This articles examines the local dynamics highlighted in ICPH's report, emphasizing the importance of identifying students experiencing homelessness.
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