Rural America has homeless people, but they are further apart and harder to find, reports Justin Wm. Moyer of The Washinton Post. Moyer points to Beth Kempf, executive director of the homeless services nonprofit Community Cares, in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania: "Kemp was among about two dozen advocates and volunteers seeking out the unhoused in a recent 'point-in-time' count — a nationwide census of homeless people conducted each January that helps advocates track demographic data, which the federal government can use to decide where funds meant to combat homelessness should be spent."

The sheer area that rural advocates had to cover compared to urban counters made the task daunting. "In Washington, D.C., for example, advocates must search a jurisdiction of about 68 square miles to find thousands of homeless people. Homelessness is visible," Moyer writes. "Cumberland County is a 555-square-mile region about 120 miles west of Philadelphia. Here, a much smaller number of homeless people — fewer than 100 in 2022 — are dotted across a great swath of land in locations unlike urban underpasses and encampments. Small towns. Woodlands. State parks. Farms. Truck stops. Abandoned motels. . . . If unhoused people aren’t counted, they won’t count."

Read the full article about counting rural homelessness at The Rural Blog.