The Age Structure of Contemporary Homelessness: Implications for Health Care and Public Policy
Amidst concern about the implications of an aging U.S. population, recent evidence suggests that there is a unique aging trend among the homeless population. Building on this, we use data from New York City and from the last three decennial Census enumerations to assess how the age composition of the homeless population—both single adults and adults in families—has changed over time. Findings show that persons in the latter half of the baby boom cohort have experienced a sustained risk for homelessness over the past 20 years, and that the bulk of the single adult homeless population is approaching premature old age. We consider implications for the health care and social welfare systems, and policy responses to homelessness.
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