A literature review of homelessness and aging: Suggestions for a policy and practice-relevant research agenda

This report reviews the state of literature on aging and homelessness. A substantial literature spanning several decades explores homelessness and the programs designed to address this issue ( Lee, Tyler, & Wright, 2010; Shlay & Rossi, 1992; Toro, 2007; Trypuc & Robinson, 2009). However, present knowledge and practices about homelessness tend to focus on youth, younger adults, and young families, with far less attention to older people ( Beynon, 2009; Burns, Grenier, Lavoie, Rothwell, & Sussman, 2012; Cohen, 1999; Crane & Warnes, 2001; G onyea, Mills - Dick, & Bachman, 2010; McDonald, Dergal, & Cleghorn, 2004). Old er people who are homeless are depicted as an ' invisible population ' (Gonyea et al., 2010), but with demographic shifts the numbers of older people experiencing homelessness can be expected to rise (Edmonston & Fong, 2011). Population aging calls for research and policy attention to aging and homelessness. This report focuses on the intersections of aging and homelessness. We draw on international and Canadian research to provide an overview of the circumstances, statistics, and programs that exist in this area and a general understanding of what homelessness means, specifically for older people.