Shelters Are Serving an Increasing Number of Older Adults: A Data Snapshot

September 26, 2023  |  Data and Graphics

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2021 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (Part 2), the number of older adults experiencing sheltered homelessness* is on the rise, with a marked increase in those experiencing chronic homelessness over the past three years. This growing population has extraordinarily high physical and mental health needs that the nation’s homelessness systems are not trained or resourced to appropriately meet on their own.

These findings reinforce the crucial need for alignment between homelessness and healthcare systems, social safety net programs, and the aging network. They further underscore the need for robust federal resources to prevent older adults from being forced from their homes, and to ensure that the housing and supportive services are available at scale to ensure older adults can be rehoused as quickly as possible.

View more data on shelters and chronic homelessness in the Alliance’s State of Homelessness Report.