(The Center Square) – More people are living without a home in rural Illinois.
In a Rural Health Summit earlier this month, a panel of advocates met to address the growing issue of rural homelessness in Illinois.
The homeless population rose 2% and those without shelter rose 22% in 2021 compared to 2020, according to data from the Affordable Assisted Living Coalition.
Bob Palmer, policy director for Housing Action Illinois, said homelessness in rural areas often flies under the radar because it’s less visible than in urban settings.
There are also fewer homeless shelters in rural communities and this has contributed to the rise.
Palmer added that rural places often have higher levels of poverty.