Homelessness in Late Life: Growing old on the streets: In shelters and long-term care

Principal Investigator: Amanda Grenier

Co-Investigators: J.P. Lavoie, D. Rothwell, T. Sussman

Collaborators: The Old Brewery Mission/Mission Old Brewery; The Centre for Research and Expertise in Social Gerontology/Centre de recherche et d’expertise en gérontologie sociale (CREGÉS)

Funding Source: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Period: 2012-2015

Project Description: This project seeks to understand and account for the changing needs of older homeless people in Canada. The aging of societies is widely recognized on a global level, with government initiatives focused on healthy aging, implementation of health and social services, and income provision. Yet issues affecting marginalised populations, including older homeless people, are often obscured. Their needs are also overlooked in homelessness reduction strategies, which target youth or working-age populations. This project, based in in Montreal, explores the challenges older homelessness brings for aging societies as a whole and for service providers working in housing, shelter and long-term care. Investigative methods include the analysis of homeless initiatives and administrative data; site observations; and interviews with older people and community service providers. Data from this project will provide insight on the life trajectories of older homeless people, outline the service barriers that exist for people 'aging on the streets', and broaden existing understandings of aging and homelessness in scholarly research and social programming.