New Study Finds that Housing Homeless Seniors Improves Quality of Life and Saves Money

Joshua Bamberger, MD, Mercy Housing’s Chief Medical Consultant, recently authored a study examining how placing homeless seniors in permanent, supportive housing changed these seniors’ quality of life and healthcare costs.

The study, recently published in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research, looks at how the healthcare costs of 51 homeless seniors changed after moving into permanent, supportive housing at Mission Creek Apartments in San Francisco, Calif., a property owned and operated by affordable housing nonprofit Mercy Housing.

Twelve of the previously homeless seniors who participated in the study came from a large, publicly funded nursing home; 39 came from the general homeless population. After seven years of living in supportive housing, the total hospital-based costs for the 51 seniors was $1.46 million less than the year before their move-in date.

We talked with Dr. Bamberger about how the study points the way to a more holistic approach to caring for the country’s elderly homeless populations. Read the full interview here.