“No Home, No Place”: Addressing the Complexity of Homelessness in Old Age Through Community Dialogue

The aging-in-place agenda supports the right of seniors to live in their preferred environment, as the place where they can retain a sense of independence and control in old age. This right is compromised for vulnerable seniors who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Causes of homelessness in old age are complex, and pathways into and out of homelessness are multifaceted, including financial insecurity, relationship breakdown, and addiction, compounded by barriers to accessing services, shrinking social support networks, and complex health challenges. Addressing the multidimensional nature of homelessness in old age requires holistic solutions that bring together the knowledge and expertise of multiple stakeholders, not least seniors themselves. With this aim, this paper reports on findings from multistakeholder community dialogue sessions conducted across Metro Vancouver with seniors’ organizations, service providers, and local government to prioritize the challenges of senior homelessness in Metro Vancouver and propose strategies and solutions for addressing the issue. The paper highlights some of the ways in which services and housing supports can be designed to support older adults who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Publication Date: 
Journal Name: 
Journal of Housing for the Elderly
Metro Vancouver, BC, Canada