A Data-driven Re-design of Housing Supports and Services for Aging Adults Who Experience Homelessness In Los Angeles

Thumbnail Image
Penn collection
School of Social Policy and Practice::Departmental Papers (SPP)
Degree type
Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Urban Studies and Planning
Urban, Community and Regional Planning
Homelessness Policy Analysis and Commentary
Homelessness Population Estimation
Demographic Composition and Trends
Structural Determinants of Homelessness
Grant number
Copyright date
Related resources
Metraux, Stephen
Kuhn, Randall

This report examines health services use and population dynamics among the aging homeless population in Los Angeles. Evidence suggests that adverse health outcomes lead to homelessness, and the conditions related to homelessness lead to or exacerbate a range of health problems (Hwang, 2001). In addition, the barriers to accessing preventative and primary care while homeless lead to receipt of healthcare only when morbidities are more acute, (Reid, Vittinghoff, & Kushel, 2008; Kushel, Gupta, Gee, & Haas, 2006; Lim, Andersen, Leake, Cunningham, & Gelberg, 2002) meaning that there is a disproportionate use of inpatient hospitalization and other costly medical and behavioral health services among persons experiencing homelessness (Doran et al., 2013; Hwang, Weaver, Aubry, & Hoch, 2011; Kushel, Perry, Bangsberg, Clark, & Moss, 2002; Salit, Kuhm & Hartz, 1998). As a result, homelessness is expensive for healthcare systems and for society as a whole (Latimer et al., 2017; Flaming, Burns, & Matsunaga, 2009; Culhane, 2008). Given this, interest in using healthcare systems as a platform to address homelessness has grown in recent years. Strategies include efforts to identify homeless patients in healthcare settings in order to link them with housing and social services (Garg, Toy, Tripodis, Silverstein, & Freeman, 2015; Gottlieb, Hessler, Long, Amaya, & Adler, 2014); the creation of accountable care organizations that seek to coordinate healthcare and social services for persons experiencing housing instability (Mahadevan & Houston, 2015); and the development of new financing mechanisms geared towards using healthcare dollars to support housing stability (Burt, Wilkins, & Locke, 2014).

Date Range for Data Collection (Start Date)
Date Range for Data Collection (End Date)
Digital Object Identifier
Series name and number
Publication date
Volume number
Issue number
Publisher DOI
Journal Issue
Recommended citation