Cal Matters: The Fastest-Growing Homeless Population? Seniors (February 10, 2023)
California accounts for about a third of the nation’s homeless people, and among this population, seniors are estimated to be the fastest-growing group. One key indicator is the state’s tally of people accessing homelessness services. From 2017 to 2021, California’s overall senior population grew by 7% but the number of people 55 and over who sought homelessness services increased 84% — more than any other age group — according to the state’s Homeless Data Integration System.
“Once homeless, older individuals face really unique barriers that make it extremely difficult for them to get housed again, so putting the emphasis on homeless prevention and making that a front and center strategy of dealing with older adult homelessness is something that we are seeing more attention paid to,” said Patti Prunhuber, director of housing advocacy at Justice in Aging, a legal advocacy group focused on senior poverty.