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Celebrating Four Decades of Quality Care ~ 1982 - 2022

Homelessness Among the Elderly

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, there is a troubling statistic among people between the ages of 50-64. There is an upward trend in the proportion of homelessness among the elderly.

Unfortunately, people between the ages of 50 and 64 can fall through the cracks when it comes to receiving help from the government programs that are in place for the elderly population.

They are not old enough for Medicare, most are not old enough to receive social security, and they don’t qualify for subsidized housing for seniors until age 62.

Many people in that age group have health issues that make it difficult or impossible to work, so they have no source of income.

Sadly, some of these older adults may lose their homes or become unable to pay rent, so they end up in homeless shelters for the elderly, or in some cases, on the streets.

The number of homeless seniors (including those aged 65 and older) could triple in the next ten years.

If you factor in the COVID-19 crisis, the elderly homeless statistics may be even greater than anticipated. To read The New York Times Magazine article on elderly homelessness in the United States, click here.

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So, what can we do about the growing problem of homeless elderly people? What are some of the services for homeless seniors?

Are there senior homeless prevention programs to curb or slow down the upward trend in senior homelessness?

Elderly and homeless are two words that should never have to be used in the same sentence.

  • The following elderly homeless services can provide help, hope, and a safe haven for our older friends who have found themselves in this heartbreaking and vulnerable position.

  • This link has a list of government services and help for homeless seniors.

  • The Salvation Army knows that homelessness can happen to anyone. They can be contacted to help homeless seniors find a temporary senior homeless shelter, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing. They also have re-entry resources for those who have been chronically homeless.

  • Check out the following tips provided by the Community Housing Partnership to see what you can do if you know of a senior citizen who is homeless or at risk.

Homelessness is tragic at any age. It is especially grueling for the elderly. One life-changing event such as the loss of a spouse, death of a family caregiver, a chronic illness, dementia, or Alzheimer’s, can be the difference between having a place to live and homelessness.

If an elderly person does not have an advocate, he or she may not know how to access the services that are available.

There is a declining availability of affordable housing for seniors in many places across the United States. Baby Boomers are down-sizing and moving into income-based senior housing communities. The waiting lists are long.

If you are on a fixed income and foresee moving into a senior income-based housing community in your future, it would be a wise idea to put yourself on a waiting list.

If you or someone you know needs financial assistance, emotional support, or information about the resources available to seniors, the above-listed agencies are there to help and guide you in the right direction.

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