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Open Access Gaining Ground, Losing Ground: The Paradoxes of Rural Homelessness Gagner et perdre du terrain : les paradoxes de l'itinérance en milieu rural

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Abstract:

The study examined rural housing and homelessness issues and looked at similarities and differences between rural and urban areas. It involved a secondary analysis of focus group data collected in a 2001–06 Community University Research Alliance study of mental health and housing. The findings highlight concerns regarding the lack of services, which can precipitate a move from a rural to an urban community. Inadequate transportation services often posed a challenge to rural residents attempting to access services. Many participants preferred rural living but felt they had to choose between residing where they wanted to and having access to essential services. In some cases entire families were uprooted in pursuit of services. Once in an urban environment, rural participants had ongoing difficulty obtaining employment, housing, and services, which in turn led to disappointment in their new environment. The primary reason given for entering the shelter system was lack of alternatives and supports. Increased services need to be allocated to rural communities so that a health promotion and illness-prevention model of care can replace the current emphasis on crisis management.

French
Cet article examine les questions relatives au logement et à l'itinérance en milieu rural en établissant une comparaison avec le contexte urbain. Elle se fonde sur une analyse secondaire de données recueillies lors d'une étude sur la santé mentale et le logement menée de 2001 à 2006 dans le cadre des Alliances de recherche universités-communautés. Les résultats mettent en lumière certaines préoccupations concernant le manque de services, un facteur susceptible de précipiter un déménagement de la campagne à la ville. Les services de transport inadéquats posent souvent des difficultés aux habitants des régions rurales qui tentent d'accéder aux services. Bon nombre de répondants ont rapporté préférer vivre à la campagne, mais qu'il leur avait fallu choisir entre le lieu de résidence et l'accès aux services essentiels. Dans certains cas, des familles entières ont été déracinées dans leur quête de services adéquats. Une fois arrivés en milieu urbain, les participants ont éprouvé des difficultés à accéder à un emploi, à un logement et aux services, une source de déception à l'égard de leur nouvel environnement. La raison première invoquée par les personnes qui ont recours aux refuges est le manque de ressources et de solutions de rechange. Il faudra augmenter les services offerts en région rurale de façon à remplacer le modèle actuel de gestion de crise par un modèle de soins axé sur la promotion de la santé et la prévention des maladies.

Keywords: HOMELESSNESS; MENTAL HEALTH; POVERTY; RURAL

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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