The American Dream: 62 and homeless!

Once upon a time being 62 and older meant retirement. However, a recently, Shelter Partnership, Inc., a Los Angeles nonprofit, released the first-ever study of the region’s elderly homeless population, which it concluded was between 3,000 and 4,000 people. The study found that at least a third, and perhaps as many as half, of those people are chronically homeless; that more than two-thirds are male; and that 62 percent have a physical or mental disability. In addition, the study’s findings show that almost two-thirds of the elderly homeless population are receiving some income, either from Social Security or Supplemental Security Income. However, this income has not been sufficient to keep many of them housed. The study defined an elderly homeless person as 62 years of age or older. To read the full report click here.

Is this happening in NJ?

The study also made several key recommendations about how Los Angeles can best serve the elderly homeless population. Chief among those is the need to establish a body that would focus on creating permanent, supportive housing options. Also included is the need to link homeless service providers with administrators of affordable senior housing, such as HUD Section 202s and Section 8 senior buildings; the need to provide increased assistance with housing search functions; and the need to initiate a pilot program specifically designed to find and help house and support homeless older adults who stay in year round shelters.