Date of Award

Winter 2011

Project Type


Program or Major

Family Studies

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Malcolm Smith


This study explored the experiences of homeless families in the rural area of Grafton County in New Hampshire. In the literature review there is evidence that the needs of homeless people in rural areas are unique. Because of the unique needs of this population the service providers face different obstacles than their counterparts in urban areas. The researcher interviewed (N=7) homeless family members living in, or previously living in, a shelter as well as county government officials in the region. Through the use of a semi-structured interview and a grounded theory approach to the analysis of the data several themes emerged. This study identified some factors that appear to increase the risk of homelessness and what barriers exist to rural homeless families finding their way out of homelessness in rural areas. The author suggests that the best strategy for solving the issue of homelessness for rural families is an ecological one that attacks the multifaceted underlying issues.