A National Leadership Initiative to End Elder Homelessness: A Partnership between Hearth and the Corporation for Supportive Housing Mark Hinderlie Washington, D.C. July 14, 2011
The Partnership Behind the National Initiative
Hearth, with a recognized model that works, and CSH, a national organization working to end homelessness through supportive housing, have joined together to further the national dialogue about the impending crisis of elderly homelessness and the importance of providing permanent service-enriched housing for seniors who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness.
Goals of the National Leadership Initiative
To further a national dialogue about the impending crisis of elder homelessness
To create a National Policy Advisory Committee to help shape recommendations for policy change
To develop a policy paper with clear goals and a path for developing permanent supportive housing for this population
To bring together elected and appointed officials, providers, advocates and funders in a national convening October 20, 2011 to inform and guide this initiative
Traditional Solutions Do Not Work for Elder Homelessness
We believe what works is:
Permanent supportive housing
Acting Now – Before It’s Too Late…
Unpredictable challenges of aging
The acceleration of aging caused by homelessness
Physical and mental health
Baby boomers part 1
Baby boomers part 2
Poverty and the Lack of Affordable Housing Two critical issues Source: US Census, American Community Survey, and the Employment Benefit Research Institute & Lifelines for Elders Living on the Edge
Today, 3.6 million American seniors live below the federal poverty line and millions more are just making ends meet. In Boston, 1 in every 5 elders lives below the poverty line.
Annual cost of living for an elderly individual renting a one bedroom apartment in Massachusetts was $24,540 in 2009.
FROM US CENSUS ANNUAL MEDIAN HOUSING COSTS ANNUAL MEDIAN INCOME FOR ELDERS 65+ DIFFERENCE US $11,000 $19,000 +$8,000 Boston $16,000 $13,000 -$3,000
Poverty and the Lack of Affordable Housing Two critical issues
Most homeless elders lack any safety net of income, pensions or savings. Living below the federal poverty line, they often struggle to meet their most basic daily needs with very meager benefits from Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Nationally, the average SSI monthly payment check to a person 65 and older (Hearth residents’ most common source of income) is approximately $400.
Americans 65 and older rely heavily on Social Security for their retirement income — even at the top income bracket
Sources of Retirement Income Source: Calculations by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, based on the U.S. Census Bureau 2009 Current Population Survey; Credit: Alyson Hurt / NPR
2009 Elder Standard for Single Elder in Suffolk County vs. MA SSI Payments & Federal Poverty Levels UMass Boston Gerontology Institute, Massachusetts Elder Economic Security Standard, 2009
Age Distribution for Males in 1990 – US Census
Hearth’s model integrates housing, mental health, medical and social services supports in a manner that permits even very frail elders to live with considerable independence in their own apartments.
Hearth’s team is comprised of a Property Manager, MSW’s, RN’s, Site Directors, Resident Assistants, Personal Care Homemakers, Activity staff and a Representative Payee.
Students, interns and volunteers provide countless hours of service to our residents. Partnerships include:
Hearth’s Service Delivery Model
Harvard Geriatrics Fellowship Program
Northeastern University Physical Therapy Program
Art Therapy Interns from Lesley University
Social Work Interns from Boston College, Boston University, and Simmons College
Hearth’s Sources of Revenue
Nearly half of Hearth’s revenue comes from rental fees and program revenues.
Outcomes for Hearth Residents
Housing with integrated supportive services leads to good outcomes for elders who have struggled with the consequences of poverty and homelessness.
95% of Hearth’s survey respondents report a visit with a primary medical care provider within the previous six months, demonstrating Hearth’s success in forging connections between its elder residents and critically important community-based care.
Access to safe, affordable housing and a supportive living environment promotes stability, wellness, and life satisfaction among formerly homeless older adults.
Outcomes for Hearth Residents continued
Many of those participating in a recent Hearth survey reported positive assessments of their health and well-being as residents of Hearth’s housing, despite the numerous and serious health challenges they experience:
68% of respondents rate their health (including physical, emotional, and mental health) as either good, very good, or excellent.
70% of respondents report being either satisfied or very satisfied with their lives, in general
78% of respondents express satisfaction with their living environments, with an additional 10% expressing neither satisfaction nor dissatisfaction.
Costs of Serving Homeless Individuals in Boston Source: Costs of Serving Homeless Individuals in Nine Cities , prepared by the Lewin Group for the Corporation for Supportive Housing. 2004
The cost of Hearth housing is at most one-half the cost of institutional alternatives such as long term care or shelter beds.
There are high costs associated with leaving elders in shelter or on the street which include costs such as increased use of emergency medical care for routine care.
At over $51,000 a year on average in Massachusetts for assisted living and $107,000 for nursing home care, assisted living is generally unavailable to most poor and minority elders. At Ruggles, Hearth is able to provide access to this high level of care for Boston’s very low income, frail elders who otherwise would be living in nursing homes on Medicaid’s tab.
Hearth’s Strategy Makes Sense
The Advisory Panel
National Leadership Initiative Advisory Panel
Chair: Ellen Feingold Hearth Founder, Past President of JCHE
Co-Chairs of the National Leadership Initiative:
Mark Hinderlie President & CEO, Hearth, Inc.
Connie Tempel COO, Corporation for Supportive Housing
Individuals from the following organizations:
The National Leadership Initiative Convening
Rise in 50+ homelessness and special needs
Current best practices/models
Analysis of policy challenges and possible solutions
Creative collaborations: working across boundaries
When: Thursday, October 20, 2011 in Washington D.C.
President & CEO
Contact Information Hearth, Inc. 1640 Washington Street • Boston, MA • 02118 www.hearth-home.org