Finding home after homelessness: older men’s experiences in single-site permanent supportive housing

April 15, 2019

Burns, V. F., Deslandes-Leduc, J., St-Denis, N., & Walsh, C. A. (2020). Finding home after homelessness: Older men's experiences in permanent supportive housing. Housing Studies, 35(2), 290-309. doi:10.1080/02673037.2019.1598550  

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Although research on supportive housing models for older homeless adults is gaining momentum, few studies have considered the unique experiences of formerly homeless older adults residing in single-site permanent supportive housing (PSH). Drawing on the concepts of home and social exclusion, this qualitative case study explored the everyday experiences of 10 formerly homeless older men residing in single-site PSH. A constructivist grounded theory methodology and in-depth interviews revealed that participants felt largely at home in PSH because the congregate design and surveillance fostered a sense of safety. However, certain design features coupled with housing rules triggered processes of territorial exclusion. Further, members of minority groups experienced identity and institutional exclusion because of discrimination linked to their ethnicity, language, and sexual orientation. Recommendations are provided to promote more inclusive, home-like models of supportive housing for older homeless adults.


Homelessness; Aging; Home; Social exclusion; Supportive housing; Aging in place