In this brief, authors Jessica Carson and Marybeth Mattingly use interview and focus group data to explore how the characteristics of two rural New England counties influence the types of services available to residents and the ways those services are delivered. They report that the challenges of funding and geographic distance, along with disparate needs among community members, shape the ways that rural social service providers support their clients. Community characteristics, like a place’s history, population composition, income inequality, and degree of remoteness, influence how efficiently social service agencies work. In the two counties discussed in this brief, federal, state, and local safety nets help residents scrape by and achieve mobility over the long run.

Publication Date

Winter 2-21-2019


National Issue Brief No. 140


Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



Copyright 2019. Carsey School of Public Policy. These materials may be used for the purposes of research, teaching, and private study. For all other uses, contact the copyright holder.





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