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Cityscape: Volume 24 Number 1 | An Evaluation of the Impact and Potential of Opportunity Zones


An Evaluation of the Impact and Potential of Opportunity Zones

Volume 24 Number 1

Mark D. Shroder
Michelle P. Matuga

Exploring Unsheltered Homelessness, Migration, and Shelter Access in Kentucky

Andrew Sullivan
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Kotomi Yokokura
University of Kentucky

How do homeless service deserts in rural communities relate to people experiencing homelessness and migration to communities with services? This study explores this relationship using a mixed-methods case study of Kentucky and a rich dataset with county-level data. The data include information on unsheltered homelessness and typically underreported information like the number of people whose homelessness originated in each county. Combining that with data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on shelters and services shows that people experiencing homelessness migrate to counties with more shelters. Results show the importance of county-level data and data on originating homelessness for understanding homelessness and where to provide services to end it most effectively. Other states and homeless Continuums of Care, local jurisdictions for homeless services, where all service providers must coordinate to apply for and receive funding from HUD, can also provide public county-level data to clarify the geographic sources of homelessness and the relationship between services and migration

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