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WHY RURAL HOMELESSNESS?

Many rural communities have thinly stretched resources across large geographic areas. In many states, rural areas are grouped into one “Balance of State” CoC, meaning that the geographic area comprising the CoC can extend hundreds of thousands of square miles. The confluence of difficulties presented often results in unhoused individuals in rural America becoming invisible to their community.

 

Across the United States, every day, there are thousands of dedicated individuals serving their community through their work with people experiencing homelessness. Many of these individuals are finding innovations that help leverage funding in unique ways, streamline services, and discover strategies for better efficacy in reducing homelessness. However, with thousands of miles between social service providers, it can be hard for others to hear about the innovations that directly speak to the situation of working on homelessness in rural areas. We aim to change that. 

 

We believe in the strength of rural communities across America and believe in a future where communities can attain a functional zero homelessness.

Rural Homelessness in Numbers

49.7

Approximate percent of individuals unsheltered in rural America

87K

Approximate number of individuals experiencing homelessness in rural America

Our Goals

 Currently, 1 in 5 of all people in families with children experiencing homelessness in rural areas was unsheltered, much higher than the rates within other geographic types like urban areas or major cities.

Furthermore, 39% of the nation’s unsheltered families with children were found in rural areas, and 15% of the unhoused population in the United States is in parts of rural America.

While rural areas have proportional representation from federal funding, they often lack the same level of robust local and state allocations as seen with urban areas.

Our Process

A majority of the academic literature that exists on homeless mitigation and support strategies stems from studies conducted in major metropolitan areas. CRH strives to fill the research gap in how to create the most streamlined and cost-effective methods of decreasing the rising rate of homelessness in rural America by creating connections between the heroes on the ground.

Our Approach

Across the United States, every day, there are thousands of dedicated individuals serving their community through their work with people experiencing homelessness. Many of these individuals are finding innovations that help leverage funding in unique ways, streamline services, and discover strategies for better efficacy in reducing homelessness. However, with thousands of miles between social service providers, it can be hard for others to hear about the innovations that directly speak to the situation of working on homelessness in rural areas. We aim to change that.

Staff

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Sean Small
Co-Founder & Research Director

Sean is the Co-Founder and Research Director at CRH. He is currently the Assistant Director of The Listening Project at New York University, a think-and-do-tank addressing the Crisis of Connection through an evidence-based methodology that enhances relational intelligence. He is also the lead author of a peer-reviewed publication with Dr. Judite Blanc. He received his B.S. in Applied Psychology from New York University.

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Jarrett James Lash
Co-Founder & Policy Director

Jarrett is the Co-Founder and Policy Director at CRH. He is currently a founding member and Strategic Growth Lead of Sheltainer Homes, a vertically-integrated, affordable, sustainable, modular housing manufacturer. Jarrett is also a Youth Advisory Board member of the Youth Housing Coalition and serves on the Homeless Task Force for Montgomery County, PA. He received his B.A. in Global Liberal Studies from New York University.

POLICY ANALYSTS

Hamza Abughofah

Hamza is a currently Policy Analyst Intern with the Center for Rural Homelessness. He is a senior at Indiana University studying English, Philosophy, and Political Science.  He most recently interned in the Office of Congressman Frank J. Mrvan and brings with him a passion for policy and Public Service.

Anastasia Dai

Anastasia is a currently Policy Analyst Intern with the Center for Rural Homelessness. She is dedicated to using data to shed light on the challenges faced by hidden populations. At UNC Chapel Hill, she's a senior working toward double majors in Statistics and Public Policy, complemented by a minor in Composition, Rhetoric, and Digital Literacy. Her honors thesis will delve into the complexities of the rural legal landscape.

Katie Baughman

Katie is a currently Policy Analyst Intern with the Center for Rural Homelessness. She has interned for the housing nonprofit Housing Rights Initiative and currently is a research intern with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development. She is a junior at Fordham University majoring in English and is from Missouri. At Fordham, she is on the performance poetry team and debate team.

Ethan Heifetz

Originally from Scotch Plains, NJ, Ethan is studying Economics and International Relations at American University in Washington, D.C.. Ethan’s interest and passion for housing policy took off when he interned for Hans Reimer’s campaign for County Executive in Montgomery County, Maryland in 2022.

STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS

Emelia Gapp

Emelia is currently a Strategic Communications Intern with the Center for Rural Homelessness. She is studying Literature, Media, and Communication with a minor in Social Justice at Georgia Tech. She currently works at The Carter Center as an intern in the Development department and is passionate about the intersection of communication and social justice. 

Brock Flournoy

Brock is a Strategic Communications Intern at CRH. He currently works with Atlanta grassroots organizations such as ThreadATL and Cop City Vote to create purpose-driven media campaigns. Brock is currently pursuing his M.A in Public Interest Communication at the University of Florida, and received his B.S in Literature, Media & Communications from Georgia Tech.

Irveena Grant

Irveena, with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and a Master's degree in International Communication from St. John’s University, excels in policy writing. As an American Heart Association Media Advocacy Intern, she crafted blogs, press releases, and more. Now a Copyrighter and Grassroots Organizer, Irveena looks forward to using her skills at the Center for Rural Homelessness.

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