This brief provides a snapshot of the approximately 148,000 older adults (ages 50 and older) who were served by homelessness programs in California that reported data to the Homeless Data Integration System between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2021. About 26 percent of all people served by homelessness programs were older adults. This brief focuses on the approximately 141,000 older adults who were served as individuals (in households without children). Two-thirds of those older adult individuals identified as male, and Black people were overrepresented (29 percent vs. 6 percent in the state’s total population). About 40 percent of those older adult individuals met the criteria for chronic patterns of homelessness: at least one cumulative year of homelessness in the previous three years plus a disabling condition. Reflecting this need, about 21 percent of older adult individuals served during the assessment period had enrolled in a permanent supportive housing program, which pairs deeply subsidized housing with health and social services. Several state programs and initiatives are working to meet the particular health and social service needs for the older adult population.
Older Adults Served by California’s Homelessness Programs
The Terner Center for Housing Innovation at University of California Berkeley