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Shelter/housing models that support aging in the right place for older persons experiencing homelessness
Mahmood, A, Humphries, J, Moore, P, & Canham, SL. (2020, June). Shelter/housing models that support aging in the right place for older persons experiencing homelessness [paper presentation]. 26th Conference of the International Association of People – Environment Studies [virtual].
Older persons experiencing homelessness (OPEH) may have life histories of prolonged or episodic homelessness, or they may experience homelessness for the first time in later life. While experiences of homelessness in later life may vary greatly, understandings of shelter/housing models that meet the diverse needs of OPEH are limited. To address this gap, a scoping review was conducted to examine the international literature on shelter/housing models for OPEH that support aging in the right place. Fourteen databases were searched for literature published between 1999 and 2019, resulting in 26 sources included for review. Through a collaborative, iterative process of reading and rereading the sources, findings were organized into 6 categories of models that support aging in the right place: 1) Permanent supportive housing (PSH), including PSH delivered through Housing First, 2) Transitional housing, 3) Shelter settings with social and medical supports, 4) Drop-in centres, 5) Case management and outreach, and 6) Other programs and policy approaches. Findings reveal that a continuum of shelter/housing options, from permanent settings with intensive supports, to person-centred, community-based services, can support diverse groups of OPEH to age in the right place. While existing aging in place research largely focuses on older adults who are securely housed, these findings expand our understanding of a scarcely studied topic and contributes knowledge that can inform housing policy and design for OPEH through a life-course perspective.
Permanent supportive housing, shelter, older adults, homelessness