ERIC Number: ED312515
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-May
Reference Count: N/A
Relocation, Residence & Risk: A Study of Housing Risks and the Causes of Homelessness among the Urban Elderly.
Keigher, Sharon M.; And Others
Homelessness is growing among the elderly as it is among every other age cohort in America, but the elderly appear to be underrepresented. This underrepresentation is puzzling, since the elderly appear to have unique vulnerabilities to homelessness. This study explored the connection between the growing shortage of low rent housing, the unique housing related problems of the elderly, and homelessness itself. A sample of seniors who had experienced serious housing problems was identified from persons who had been served by the Chicago Department of Human Services Emergency Services. Two "housing risk" samples (N=91) were identified: those who had needed temporary housing and those who had lived in deplorable conditions. These at-risk persons were compared with similarly aged low-income residents of Single Rooms Occupancy units throughout the city who had not necessarily experienced housing emergencies. The results indicated that: (1) shelter use by the elderly was usually very short-term; (2) a significant proportion of the elderly were vulnerable to loss of their homes; (3) factors that precipitate the loss of and incapacity to manage their homes included living alone and lacking social supports, diminished mental functioning, and very low income; and (4) there was a shrinking supply of low-income housing and scarcity of supported living environments. These findings suggest a need for more innovative and intensive outreach and service delivery to elderly persons before their housing condition or the effects of various losses force them to lose their residence also. (ABL)
Descriptors: Aging (Individuals), High Risk Persons, Homeless People, Housing, Incidence, Intervention, Older Adults, Predictor Variables, Social Services, Urban Population
Metropolitan Chicago Coalition on Aging, 53 W. Jackson, Suite 1632, Chicago, IL 60606 ($15.00, includes shipping and handling).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, New Brunswick, NJ.; Retirement Research Foundation.
Authoring Institution: Metropolitan Chicago Coalition and Aging, IL.; Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor. School of Social Work.
Identifiers - Location: Illinois (Chicago)