Shelter and housing options, supports, and interventions for older people experiencing homelessness

November 05, 2020

Mahmood, A., Humphries, J., Moore, P., Burns, V. F., & Canham, S. L. (2020). Shelter/housing options, supports, and interventions for older persons experiencing homelessness. Innovation in Aging, 4(Supplement_1), 708. doi:10.1093/geroni/igaa057.2490  


While older people experiencing homelessness (OPEH) can have life histories of homelessness or experience homelessness for the first time in later life, understandings of shelter/housing models that meet diverse needs of this population are limited. We conducted a scoping review of the international literature on shelter/housing models available to support OPEH. Through an iterative process of reading and rereading 24 sources (published 1999-2019), findings were organized into 5 categories of shelter/housing models that have been developed to support OPEH: 1) Permanent supportive housing (PSH), including PSH delivered through Housing First, 2)  Transitional housing, 3)  Shelter settings with medical supports, 4) Drop-in centers, and 5) Case management and outreach. Findings expand our understanding of how a continuum of shelter/housing options are needed to support distinct health and housing needs of diverse OPEH. Policy and practice implications related to integrating health and social care to support OPEH to age-in-the-right-place will be discussed. Part of a symposium sponsored by the Environmental Gerontology Interest Group.