The Elderly Homeless

Although the percentage of elderly persons who are homeless is low, there are many whose social marginality, lack of financial resources, or chronic ill health causes them to be seriously at risk of homelessness. The author asserts that the very presence of even a few men and women over age 60 in homeless shelters or on the streets indicates a failure of the traditional human services and benefits. This chapter examines the characteristics of the elderly homeless and assesses their special programmatic needs in order to provide for adequate and appropriate community housing, social, health, and mental health services within existing services systems developed specifically for the elderly.

Publication Date: 
Journal Name: 
In Robertson, M. J., and Greenblatt, M. (eds.), Homelessness: A National Perspective. New York, NY: Plenum Press, 1992.