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Close to Homeless
People who are homeless in rural regions like Northern New York are likely to be married, working, female, with children. They move from place to place, staying with friends and relatives, or in a series of substandard apartments and trailers. They are our invisible neighbors. NCPR talks with some of them, and with some of their advocates.

Lynee Erlenbach and her sisters show off latch-hook rugs they made.
Lynee Erlenbach and her sisters show off latch-hook rugs they made.

Homelessness: Surviving the School Shuffle

In the North Country, homelessness often means something different than sleeping on a park bench or under a bridge. A family who can't afford a home may move in with relatives, then a month later into a motel room, then into a low-rent apartment, and on and on. Each time the family moves, the children have to get used to new surroundings, new people, and new routines. And in many cases, they have to go to a new school. Preliminary studies show up to a third of the students in many districts don't end the academic year in the same school they started. On the second day of our series, Close to Homeless, we look at how transiency affects kids' education and the schools they attend. David Sommerstein has our story.  Go to full article

With Rising Homelessness, Affordable Housing Scarce

As we've been hearing this week, homelessness in northern New York can mean many things. People stay as long as they can with relatives or several families might share a small trailer. But social workers and care providers say more and more people are literally winding up on the streets. In Franklin County, a consortium of aid groups is working to measure the number of truly homeless people. They're also working with landlords to help provide low-cost apartments. Nancy Reich is head of Comlinks, a regional housing authority based in Malone. She says even with subsidies, affordable apartments are harder than ever to find. Reich spoke with Brian Mann.  Go to full article
Laura Davenport and Cassie

Homelessness: Breaking the Cycle of Transiency

In part one of our series 'Close to Homeless', David Sommerstein reports on a family in Dickinson Center in Franklin County who have experienced the most persistent kind of rural homelessness: chronic transiency.  Go to full article

Commentary: Jill Vaughan on rural homelessness

We get up in the morning, know where the coffee cups are, shrug into a robe, and find our favorite chair to wake up in. We have a routine...and security. There's a whole...  Go to full article

A County's Response to Homelessness

Martha Foley talks with Sue Rabideau, Director of Financial Services for the Franklin County Social Services Department. She's the primary person working on behalf of the...  Go to full article

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