The population of individuals who are homeless and elderly is expected to nearly triple over the next decade. A new study of the aged homeless populations in New York City, Boston, and Los Angeles County suggests an alarming trend in the growth of homelessness taking place across the country.

The NYHealth-funded New York City-specific findings of the study show that with the impending wave of homeless seniors will come an increase in aging-related health care costs. Between 2017 and 2030, the number of homeless adults over the age of 65 is expected to grow from 2,600 to 6,900. Additionally, the combined annual shelter and health care costs associated with this population are projected to triple—from approximately $150 million in 2011 to $461 million in 2030. However, there are potential solutions that can mitigate this crisis.

On April 8, 2019, NYHealth hosted a panel discussion about New York City’s aged homeless population, as well as the proposed housing interventions that could improve quality of life, reduce the daily demands on hospitals and emergency departments, and relieve shelters of the burden of large-scale, aging-related care. Panelists discussed the findings of the study, efforts currently underway in New York City, and ways that the public and private sectors can collaborate to address the crisis.

Panelists were:

  • Steven Banks, Commissioner, New York City Human Resources Administration/Department of Social Services
  • Dennis Culhane, Ph.D., Professor, University of Pennsylvania (see speaker slides here)
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