Special Projects Fund

Project Title

From Crisis to Solutions: Cost Analysis and Interventions for Aging Homeless Adults

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

February 13, 2017








Homelessness has steadily increased in New York State, with the large majority of the State’s homeless population residing in New York City.

People who experience homelessness often have a complex array of illnesses or other serious disabilities, which leads to high use of hospital-based care and health care costs. As the homeless adult population ages, there will be corresponding increases in health care needs and costs. Studies have found that homeless people age prematurely and have very high rates of geriatric health issues at younger ages compared with people who are not homeless. To mitigate this potential crisis, the University of Pennsylvania School of Policy & Practice (Penn SP2) will conduct multistate, data-driven research and analysis on the health care utilization, needs, and costs of people who are homeless and ages 55 and older. In 2017, NYHealth awarded a grant to Penn SP2 to support New York State’s participation in this national effort.

Under this grant, Penn SP2 identified the health care utilization patterns and costs of aging homeless adults and projected these costs over the next 10 to 15 years. Data from this analysis was used to develop potential intervention models that reduce both homelessness and the associated health care costs for the aging homeless population. Penn SP2 then engaged with and disseminated findings to multiple New York State and City stakeholders, as well as key stakeholders in the health care and housing sectors. Penn SP2 also provided detailed financial projections that allowed policymakers to analyze the financial viability of proposed solutions.