Rural migration study participants wanted 0
Dr. Fay Martin wants to dig to the core of rural homelessness, poverty, and youth migration.
Through a government grant the Minden resident and researcher is engaging struggling youth – both those that stayed and those that left rural areas – to suss out the causes of their disadvantage.
Martin intends to interview 60 young people before November, compiling their stories for further analysis.
The emphasis is on looking at why young people leave small towns for the cities only to fall on bad luck and end up in precarious situations.
“Very little work has been done on this,” says Martin, who pitched the research idea to the federal government.
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada is paying for the study, titled To Go or to Stay?, which will examine rural migration in a holistic fashion.
“There’s been very little impetus to explore whether or not [outmigration] is a problem,” she says.
Martin, 69, grew up in rural Alberta and remembers well the urge to leave and redefine one’s self.
“In a sense, wanting to go away from where everyone knows everything about you,” she says.
Youth leave for myriad reasons, but often the choice comes down to employment, education and opportunity.
Cities offer schools and jobs, but pose financial difficulties that urban youth might not face.
Renting a place while doing studies, for example, can cause extra strain on the rural young person.
Martin is looking for other reasons youth leave along with the factors that kept them from success.
In this stage of her research, she is paying $40 to each participant from Haliburton County, Peterborough County or the City of Kawartha Lakes, excluding the towns of Lindsay and Peterborough. Those in the 25 to 30 year range are of most interest.
The youth must be at risk of homelessness and have lived rurally for 10 years at least before deciding to either stay in the country or move to the city.
Names are kept confidential and personal circumstances will be obscured to maintain privacy.
For simplicity’s sake, the city youth should live in either Peterborough, Lindsay or Toronto.
Once the stories are collected, Martin will take the results to an advisory board, consisting of professionals in the housing, employment, justice and other social services. From that information, they will craft recommendations for practice and policy changes.
Those recommendations will be put to focus groups and then an academic paper will be produced.
To join the study or find out more, contact Fay Martin at 705-457-6912 or email email@example.com.