Homeless Predictors in the Older Adult Population

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This secondary research study uses data from two convenience samples of homeless persons in Central Arkansas collected during 2004 and 2011 Point in Time Counts. The prevalence of predictors of homelessness are compared across years, and also compared by age (<50 and > 50) controlling for year of survey. The number of older adults increased significantly between 2004 and 2011 surveys, and reporting serious mental illness and veteran status significantly decreased from 2004 to 2011. Age differences were noted in 2004 with older adults more likely to report serious mental illness in comparison to younger adults. Older adults were also ... continued below

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Lewallen, Jina P. May 2013.

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  • Lewallen, Jina P.

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This secondary research study uses data from two convenience samples of homeless persons in Central Arkansas collected during 2004 and 2011 Point in Time Counts. The prevalence of predictors of homelessness are compared across years, and also compared by age (<50 and > 50) controlling for year of survey. The number of older adults increased significantly between 2004 and 2011 surveys, and reporting serious mental illness and veteran status significantly decreased from 2004 to 2011. Age differences were noted in 2004 with older adults more likely to report serious mental illness in comparison to younger adults. Older adults were also more likely to report veteran status in comparison to younger adults during both the 2004 and 2011 surveys. The predictors of homelessness -- including serious health problems, substance abuse, race, age, and developmental disabilities-- remained fairly consistent from 2004 to 2011 and across "age groups". In addition to Point in Time data, qualitative surveys and interviews of providers were performed for their observations of the older homeless population. Providers indicated their belief that the older homeless population is increasing. Providers suggested possible challenges and reasons for the increase among older adults who are homeless. In central Arkansas, service providers feel the current economy, programs, and agencies that provide homeless services and funding sources are adequate at this time as evidenced by no increase in numbers. Due to new funding, improvement has occurred with the veteran population through VA programs. Even though this research did not find any change in gender, the providers feel that for future homeless, trends in gender (women in poverty), as well as older adults becoming homeless for the first time, should be watched in addition to other predictive factors such as the economy, increase in substance abuse, and physical and mental health concerns.

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  • May 2013

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  • Feb. 1, 2014, 6:14 p.m.

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  • Nov. 16, 2016, 1:38 p.m.

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Lewallen, Jina P. Homeless Predictors in the Older Adult Population, dissertation, May 2013; Denton, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271855/: accessed April 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .