One in four of San Diego’s homeless adults is over the age of 55. More than 40% are experiencing homelessness for the first time in their lives.

Serving Seniors finds this unacceptable. To uphold our commitment to San Diego’s seniors, we partnered with Harder + Company Community Research with funding provided by the Hearst Foundations to conduct a needs assessment focused older adults at-risk of or currently experiencing homelessness.

The result is Senior Homelessness: A Needs Assessment. The report contains:

  • Key findings examining the risks and causes of older adult homelessness
  • Distinct characteristics and needs of older adults at-risk of experiencing homelessness
  • Barriers to providing and accessing support services
  • Proposed solutions which are practical and immediately actionable

A Golden Opportunity to Reduce Older Adult Homelessness in San Diego County

While many of the challenges faced by at-risk and homeless older adults are not exclusive to this population, for proposed solutions to be successful they must consider the complex needs unique to seniors. This resulting report summarizes our assessment’s key findings and proposes a specific set of recommendations to combat homelessness among older adults in San Diego.



Serving Seniors is grateful to the Hearst Foundations for their generous grant funding which made this study possible. We value their partnership driving this catalyst for real change in older adult homelessness in San Diego County. The study would not have been possible without the participation of hundreds of older adults who shared their stories and struggles to enlighten and inform our evaluation. Serving Seniors is grateful to San Diego County’s social services providers who supported this assessment through their input and participation.

Hearst Foundations
Regional Task Force on Homelessness

Alpha Project
Anna Marie Piconi Snyder
Catholic Charities
City of Escondido
City of Oceanside
City of San Diego
City of Vista
Community Catalysts of California
Community Research Foundation
Community Through Hope
County of San Diego Health & Human Services and Office of the Public Defender
Dreams for Change
East County Homeless Task Force (ECHTF)
Equus Workforce Solutions
Exodus Recovery, Inc.
Falcon Valley Group
Family Health Centers of San Diego
Father Joe’s Villages
Homeless-Experienced Advocacy and Leadership Network (HEAL) of the San Diego Housing Federation
Home Start, Inc.
Housing Innovation Partners
Interfaith Community Services
Interfaith Shelter Network
Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFSSD)
Mance Creative, Inc.
McAlister Institute
Mental Health Systems, Inc.
National Alliance on Mental Illness of San Diego (NAMI)
People Assisting the Homeless (PATH)
Oceanside Resources Center
Rachel’s Women’s Shelter
Salvation Army
San Diego Housing Commission
San Diego Rescue Mission
San Diego State University
South Bay Community Services
Travelers Aid San Diego
Veterans Affairs (VA)
Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD)
Voices of Our City Choir
Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation

Serving Seniors thanks Harder + Company and graduate student Kaiti Robinson, San Diego State University School of Social Work, for their diligence in conducting the research for this assessment.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Gayle Falkenthal at 619-997-2495 or