Rural Homelessness and Poverty in Appalachia


Homelessness is all too often a result of long term or chronic poverty, or the result of poverty combined with the unexpected. Poverty hits the hardest in rural areas where options for coping are limited and helping hands are fewer and farther in between. Appalachia consistently ranks higher than the national average in poverty related statistics. While almost every in-depth study of Appalachia at least touches on poverty and/or its related issues, not very many have made poverty a primary focus, and almost none have focused on homelessness in Appalachia . This brief summary will help those focusing on rural poverty and homelessness, especially in Appalachia , get the most out of their research time.

Introductory Text: 

Mink, Gwendolyn and Alice O’Conner (eds.). Poverty in the United States: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics and Policy. Santa Barbara, CA, ABC-CLIO, 2004. REF HC110.P6 P598 2004 v1 and 2. Most Relevant headings: Appalachia , Rural Poverty, War on Poverty

Library of Congress Subject Headings: 

Highly Relevant:

  • Economic Assistance, domestic
  • Poor
  • Poverty
  • Rural Poor
  • Appalachian Region - Economic Conditions
  • Rural Poor - US
  • Poor- Appalachian Region
  • Poverty
  • Homeless Persons - US

Also Relevant:

  • Appalachian Region - Social Conditions
  • Poverty - US
  • Rural Poor
  • Poor - Appalachian Region, Southern
  • Appalachian Regional Conditions
  • Homelessness
  • Housing, rural - US
  • Income Distribution -Appalachian Region
  • Rural-Urban Migration
  • Homeless Women - Appalachian Region

More General:

  • Sociology, rural -US
  • Southern States - rural conditions
  • Kentucky - economic conditions
  • Poor - US
  • African American Farmers
  • Agriculture - Economic Aspects
  • Agricultural Laborers - US
  • Community Development
  • Homeless Children - US
  • Homeless Women - Ohio
  • Homelessness- US
  • Labor Unions - Coal Miners - Kentucky
  • Poor Women - Tennessee
  • Rural Development
  • Southern States - Economic Policy
  • Southern States - Rural Conditions
Clipping Files Subject Headings – W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection: 
  • Appalachian Economic Conditions
  • Appalachian Regional Commission
  • Appalachian Regional Development Program
  • Poverty
  • Poverty Workers
  • Unemployment
Library of Congress Call Numbers: 
  • F217.A65
  • HC 107
  • HC110.P6
  • HD207.L34
  • HD210
  • HD211
  • HN59.2.H54
  • HV 4505
  • HV 4545
  • E185.86 W57
  • F236.E97 NO 132
  • F241.C14
  • HC103
  • HC106
  • HN79.A137
  • HQ1438
  • HV 4488

Appalachian Landownership Taskforce, The. Who Owns Appalachia? Landownership and Its Impact. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1983. APP COLL HD210.A66 W48 1983

Becker, Jane S. Selling Tradition: Appalachia and the Construction of an American Folk, 1930-1940. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, c1998. APP COLL F217.A65 B43 1998

Billings, Dwight B. and Kathleen M. Blee. The Road to Poverty: The Making of Wealth and Hardship in Appalachia . Cambridge: New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000. APP COLL HC107.A127 B55 2000

Eller, Ronald D. Miners, Millhands, and Mountaineers: Industrialization of the Appalachian South, 1880-1930. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, c1982 APP COLL HC107.A127 E4 1982

Shapiro, Henry D. Appalachia on Our Mind: the Southern Mountains and Mountaineers in the American Vonsciousness, 1870-1920. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, c1978. APP COLL F217.A65 S52

Guides, Encyclopedias, and Dictionaries: 

Mink, Gwendolyn & Alice O’Conner (eds.). Poverty in the United States: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics and Policy . Santa Barbara, CA, ABC-CLIO, 2004. ASU REF HC110.P6 P598 2004 v1 and 2

O’Hara, Frederick M. Handbook of United States Economic and Financial Indicators. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2000. ASU REF HC106.8 .O47 2000

New Strategist Publications. Access to Poverty in the United States. Ithaca, NY: New Strategist Publications, c2003. ASU REF HC110.I5 A35 2003.

Glenn Porter (ed). Encyclopedia of American Economic History: Studies of the Principal Movements and Ideas: Vol. 1. New York: Scribner, c1980. ASU REF HC103 .E52


Murray, John C. Finding out About the Other North Carolina: A Source Book on Poverty. Greensboro , N.C.: North Carolina Poverty Project, [1989]. WCU State (NC) J 96 2: F49/ax

Kutais, B.G. Homelessness: A Guide to the Literature. Commack, N.Y.: Nova Science Publishers, 1994. ASU Main Z7164.H72 H64 1993


West Virginia University. Social Welfare in Appalachia, 1969-1977 (Annually). Morgantown, School of Social Work, West Virginia University. APP COLL HV98.W4 S63

Other Sources: 

Tickamyer, Ann R. and Cecil. Poverty in Appalachia Appalachian Data Bank Report no. 5. Lexington, Ky.: Appalachian Center, University of Kentucky, [1987] APP COLL HC107.A127 T52 1987

Compiled by: 

Compiler: Carl D. Jenkins, 31 October 2005