A homeless shelter program for the elderly in Los Angeles, California: A grant-writing project Cherise B. Arzaga CSU Long Beach May 2012. •Older adults age 62 and older are the fastest growing, most vulnerable group of homeless individuals in the City of Los Angeles (Shelter Partnership, 2008).
•Older adults age 62 and older are the fastest growing, most vulnerable group of homeless individuals in the City of Los Angeles (Shelter Partnership, 2008).
•Majority of the homeless assistance programs are geared towards special populations of interests (women with children, runaway youth, individuals with disabilities, and veterans) but have not yet acknowledged the elderly (Gonyea, Mills-Dick, & Bachman, 2010).
•Majority of older adults rely on emergency shelters for housing and supportive services, but its structure causes many barriers for older adults, as it is not equipped to meet their service needs (Gonyea et al., 2010).
•Older adults have critical health care needs that require a holistic approach in screening, evaluation, and treatment (Gelberg, Linn, & Mayer-Oakes, 1990; Cohen, 1999; Bottomley, 2001; Crane & Warnes, 2001; Garibaldi, Conde-Martel, & O’Toole, 2005; Lipmann, 2007; McDonald, Dergal, & Cleghorn, 2007; Rosenheck, Bassuk, & Saloman, 2008; Crane, 2010).
•Resources are limited and the services available to homeless older adults fail to acknowledge their complex needs, which makes them less inclined to seek help, and causes no end to elder homelessness (Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), 2003).
•The purpose of this project is to fund a homeless shelter program designed for the elderly in order to increase access to supportive services and improve existing services to meet their basic needs.Introduction
•Decreases in funding for older adult programs pose a threat to this population’s resources.
•The projected increase of the older adult population in the coming years will make it difficult to ignore the needs of this population, suggesting a paradigm shift in how we care for them (Sermons & Henry, 2010).
•Homeless older adults are generally dependent on competent social workers, placing great responsibility to protect and provide a positive quality of life for the elder.
•Social workers must be aware of homeless older adult’s complex needs and know how to properly screen, assess, evaluate, and treat seniors.
•Social workers have a duty for policy change in order to ensure that health care and social services remain functional for the elderly.
•Individuals aged 55-61 accounted for 14.1% of the homeless population but increased to 23% in 2011.
•Individuals 62 and older accounted for 6% of the homeless population but increased to 10.8% in 2011.
•Limited research has been conducted on ethnic and/or racial compositions of the elderly in the City of Los Angeles (Shelter Partnership, 2008; Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, January 2011).
•According to the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority’s (2011) Homeless Count, the largest groups experiencing homelessness are as follows:
•African American/Black Populations (43.7%)
•Hispanic/Latino Populations (27.7%)
•European American Populations (24.9%)
•Asian/Pacific Islander Populations (2.3%)
•American Indian/Alaskan Native Populations (1.4%)
•Nonetheless, it is clear that social workers need to utilize cultural sensitive practices when working with diverse older adult populations.
Line item budget
Salaries and Benefits
Program Coordinator, LCSW (FT) $58,416
Benefits and Taxes (30%) $17,525
Two Social Workers, MSW, Bilingual (FT) $80,000
Benefits and Taxes (30%) $24,000
Student Interns, BSW & MSW $0
Psychiatric Nurse, RN (FT) $50,000
Benefits and Taxes (30%) $15,000
Student Interns, LVN & RN $0
Two Mental Health Workers, CNA (PT) $40,000
Benefits and Taxes (10%) $4,000
Housing Coordinator, BSW (FT) $34,000
Benefits and Taxes (30%) $10,200
Total Salaries and Benefits $333,141
Line item budget (continued)
Office supplies $1,000
Bungalow Offices/Rent $1,250
Total Direct Program Costs $24,100
Mental health treatment $2,500
Medical treatment $2,500
Social Enrichment Activities $1,500
24-hour security $25,000
Total In-Kind Contributions $32,300
Total Program Costs $389,541
Overhead Costs (8% of total program cost) $31,163
Total Program Budget $420,704
Total Requested From Funder $400,000
Direct Program Costs
Health Care Visits $5,000
•Regardless of the length of homelessness, the elderly have many vulnerabilities that make it even more challenging for them to utilize homeless services (Gelberg et al., 1990; Bottomley, 2001; Crane & Warnes, 2001; Dietz & Wright, 2005; Garibaldi et al., 2005; Van Wormer, 2005; Rosenheck et al., 2008; Crane, 2010).
•Older adults require a stable housing environment in order to access basic services.
•Intensive case management is an integral part of achieving needed health care and behavioral services and serves as the starting point for older adults to receive treatment and ultimately achieve permanent supportive housing (HRSA, 2003).
•A shelter program for the elderly can eliminate some of the barriers in accessing services and provide older adults with opportunities to achieve optimum health and housing stability.
•The proportion of elderly Americans will soon comprise 89 million by 2050, doubling the current elderly population, causing serious implications for not only homeless service providers but also all older adult service providers (He, Sengupta, Velkoff, & DeBarros, 2005).
•Identification of this population’s needs can assist policy makers to initiate local and federal social programs to aid in alleviating these challenges and thus reduce poverty and homelessness among the elderly.
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He, W., Sengupta, M., Velkoff, V., and DeBarros, K. (2005). 65+ in the United States: 2005. Retrieved from www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/p23-209.pdf
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McDonald, L., Dergal, J., Cleghorn, L. (2007). Living on the margins. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 49(1,) 19-46.
Rosenheck, R., Bassuk, E., & Salomon, A. (2008). Elderly Homeless. Special populations of homeless Americans. Retrieved from Aspe.hhs.gov/progsy/homeless/symposium/2-spclpop.htm
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Shelter Partnership, Inc. (March 2008). Homeless older adults strategic plan: March 2008 Retrieved from http://www.shelterpartnership.org/studies-by-shelter-partnership.aspx
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2003). Understanding the special health care needs of elderly person who are homeless. Retrieved from http://bphc.hrsa.gov/policiesregulations/policies/pal200303.html
Van Wormer, R. (2005). Homelessness among older adults with severe mental illness. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 10(4), 39-49.