First Advisor

Martin Swobodzinski

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Geography




Homeless camps -- Oregon -- Portland -- Location, Homeless persons -- Oregon -- Portland -- Statistics, Geographic information systems, Urban ecology




Homelessness is a complex American social issue. Understanding the homeless population, including how many people experience homelessness, how they entered the experience, their demographics, how they survive, and where they survive, aids policymakers, planners, and advocates in developing the appropriate approaches and solutions to end and prevent homelessness. Analysis of homeless spatial patterns and distributions across different locales provides a more in-depth understandings of this population and how best to support them, from the local to national level. Using geographic information systems (GIS) and statistical methods, this study examines the spatial patterns of homeless campsites and their relationship with urban features including, administrative zones, transportation, and homeless support services in Portland, Oregon. Findings indicate significant concentrations of homeless campsites across the city, as well as significant relationships between campsites and all identified urban features. These understandings of how and where the homeless population survive is essential in developing the most effective means of engaging with and supporting this dynamic and varied population.


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A research paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Geography.

Persistent Identifier