The Hearth Outreach Program
"If it weren't for Hearth Outreach, I wouldn't know how to handle myself in certain situations with regard to my health."
— Calvin, a successfully housed client
Elders are a vulnerable, but often overlooked, segment of the homeless population. Homeless elders often have physical, mental, social, and emotional problems that compound financial troubles and contribute to chronic homelessness.
- There are over 670,000 homeless people at any given time in the United States, including 15,000 in Massachusetts and 3,800 in Boston. About 33% of Boston's homeless adult shelter population is over 50 years old.
- 32% of U.S. retirees have less than $10,000 in savings. With little or no safety net, a health crisis or other problem can compound financial difficulties and lead to chronic elder homelessness.
- Across the United States, in five different major metropolitan areas, the percentage of the homeless population over the age of 50 has tripled from 11% to 32% since 1990, and the percentage continues to climb.