Submitted by: Eileen O’Brien and Samantha Morton
Aging Right in the Community, a joint program of Boston Medical Center’s Elder’s Living at Home Program and MLPB (formerly Medical-Legal Partnership | Boston), works to prevent homelessness among Greater Boston’s most at-risk older residents. A recent Boston census estimated that 2,400 homeless individuals were over 51 years of age.
Low-income older adults with unstable housing face barriers to health and social services. Many suffer from mental illness, cognitive decline, substance abuse, undiagnosed health conditions, and poor nutrition. The best way to address the complicated needs of this population and prevent or end senior homelessness is with specialized, legally informed case management, helping those already homeless to transition back into safe, affordable permanent housing, and engaging in crisis intervention and homelessness prevention services for those at imminent risk of losing their housing. Since its inception, ARC has maintained a homelessness prevention rate of 94%, and 98% of those stabilized with project services have remained in stable housing. 148 clients have been served by the project over its first three years.