Who are the elderly homeless?

Elders and older adults experiencing homelessness are parents and grandparents, former teachers and lawyers. They're unable to continue working because of illness, or they've had a life-long struggle with mental illness. 

There are 1,200 homeless adults in the Boston area over the age of 50, and they each have their own unique story.



A great resource for finding facts specific to your state or city is the HUD Homelessness Data Exchange website. On the Public Reports page, you can request information for a specific state, region, city using data from various HUD programs.


The amount elder homelessness is predicted to increase between 2010 and 2020. It is estimated that it will more than double by 2050.


Number of sheltered homeless people in the U.S. who are aged 62 and older.


Number of sheltered homeless older adults in the U.S. who are aged 51 to 61.


Percentage of current workers who will likely rely solely on Social Security for all of their retirement income.


The gap between the Massachusetts Economic Security Standard of $27,048 and the median income (excluding SSI and public assistance) of $16,800 is the largest faced by elders anywhere in the United States.


Number of U.S. states where the average monthly Social Security payment can pay the rent of a one-bedroom apartment.


Barriers to Housing

There are many obstacles homeless older adults and elders face when trying to find housing - and many of the people we serve face multiple barriers.

Housing Barriers

Barriers to Housing for Elders Living in Shelters or Places Not Meant for Human Habitation: The Hearth Outreach Program served 332 clients between October 1, 2013 and October 1, 2014.