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April 30, 2021 | 155 total views

On Tuesday, February 23, 2021, the USC Homelessness Policy Research Institute (HPRI) convened researchers and diverse stakeholders to discuss older adults at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness.

The symposium began with a compelling presentation by researcher Margot Kushel, MD, Professor of Medicine, Director of UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations, Director of UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative. Read more about of Dr. Kushel’s research findings about homelessness and older adults here and here.

Following Dr. Kushel's presentation, Jean Galiana, LAHSA’s Older Adults System Coordinator moderated a symposium panel that included:

  • Zondre Johnson, Speak Up! advocate
  • Eve Gelb, Senior Vice President of Healthcare Services, SCAN Health Plan
  • Rebecca Louie, Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation
  • Cheryl Wilson, CEO, St. Paul’s Senior Services
  • Celina Alvarez, Executive Director, Mobile Integrated Services Team at Housing Works

Zondre discussed the challenges that people who are 50+ experience when trying to access supports, services, and housing. Eve described the bold new initiative of the SCAN Health Plan to provide high level health care and services to homeless older adults. Rebecca outlined the work of Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation to house no/low income higher acuity homeless older adults who are connected to supports and services that enable them to live in their own apartment and connected to their community. Cheryl described the success of St. Paul’s Senior Services Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) has had in providing social supports and health care to nursing home eligible older adults in low income senior housing in San Diego. Celina talked about best practices in outreaching to homeless older adults, retaining IHSS workers in Housing Works, trauma informed engagement, and other thoughts from her decades of experience serving Los Angeles’ most vulnerable clients.

To view a recording of the symposium, click here.

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