Advocates for affordable housing say homelessness is a growing problem in the commonwealth’s rural areas. Some 200 people are visiting Bloomsburg University for a conference looking at the challenges of offering shelter and services in what’s seen as an emerging problem in less-populated areas. Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania Executive Director Liz Hersh says rural homeless often goes unnoticed. She says nonprofits and religious organizations will likely be called on to provide more services for the homeless, as establishing county homeless shelter systems could be costly. She adds a lack of access to good jobs, health care and transportation often compound problems for homeless people in rural areas.