No Place to Call Home: A Comparison of Urban and Suburban Homelessness

Dan A. Lewis, Northwestern University
Molly Metzger, Northwestern University

Suburban homelessness is destined to become a more and more significant problem, even as urban homelessness declines. This is due, in part, to efforts by states and municipalities to deconcentrate poverty from the inner cities. Additionally, while many low-skilled jobs exist in the suburbs, suburban communities lack the infrastructure to deal with the challenges posed by the in-migration of the formerly city-dwelling poor. In this paper, using a comprehensive survey of individuals who sought housing or economic assistance from service providers in and around Chicago in 2000-2001, we propose to explore the challenges faced by the urban and suburban homeless. We will compare and contrast the issues faced across the geographic borders of one of the nation’s largest cities, in an effort to discern the challenges that suburban organizations will face as they become the primary providers of services to America’s homeless.

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Presented in Poster Session 4