Can we save the small towns and rural areas that are losing people to booming metropolitan areas?

Gracy Olmstead explores the options and some of the overlooked costs and benefits

what we leave behind may not be all bad, as we go out in search of greater gains:

“The poorer you are the more you depend on a safety net that is more likely to be made up of your relatives and friends, family, community than of whatever the official safety net is. [Pennsylvania State University professor Ann Tickamyer explained to Sarah Jones in the New Republic] So if you are poor, sporadically employed or unemployed with kids, who provides the child care? Who helps out when you run out of money to purchase groceries or need an emergency car repair or whatever? It’s going to be the people who you are connected to in your community and in your family.”

Some movers will find new forms of support within opportunity communities. Others will leave it behind. A D.C. drug store clerk once told a friend of mine that he had to help a mother who had come in with her obviously sick and unhappy child because she didn’t have anyone to watch the baby while she picked up her prescription. This is the reality for many in isolating and stratified cities: while these areas may offer financial boons, they make connection and rapport much more difficult to establish.