ERIC Number: ED262337
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The Aging Men of Skid Row: A Target for Research and Service Intervention.
Cohen, Carl I.
Despite the recent increase in interest about the homeless population, the last large-scale systematic studies of the older skid row man were completed more than two decades ago. A more sophisticated and comprehensive instrument for measuring the physical health, mental health, social needs, and social interaction of this aging heterogeneous population can provide the first comprehensive picture of these men and their response to current social programs. It can also aid in urban planning. Men (N=281) with a mean age of 61.5 years from the Bowery, a 13 block section of lower Manhattan, were interviewed using the Comprehensive Assessment and Referral Evaluation and the Network Analysis Profile. The responses were compared to a general community sample from the Cross-National Study on four major areas of concern: socioeconomic, mental health (including alcoholism), physical health, and social interaction. More than 50 percent of the Bowery men earned less than $3900 per year, 60 percent lacked sufficient money for food, 68 percent had worked as semi-skilled or unskilled laborers, and 56 percent recently attempted to find work. Only 14 percent received public assistance and 23 percent received Medicaid. Their scores on the depression scale were twice that of the New York City elderly and almost one-fourth had previous psychiatric care or symptoms. The results suggested a high rate of alcohol abuse. Several physical complaints were 2-3 times that of the community elderly. There were no complete isolates and group behavior was common. Most men indicated that they would seek some aid from an agency. Project Rescue was established as an outgrowth of these findings to help achieve the following objectives: respite, nutrition, health, housing, financial and vocational assistance, and outreach. Further research was conducted following Project Rescue to illustrate the advantage of a collaboration between an academic facility and a service agency. (TW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A