The Point-in-Time Count Is Meant to be a Snapshot of Unhoused Populations. How Clear is That Picture?
KQED Forum • May 29, 2024
The point-in-time count offers a snapshot into the scope of homelessness in different communities, but most experts agree that the methodology is inaccurate and flawed. In this forum, Sydney Johnson speaks with experts to demystify the counting process and understand this year's numbers. Margot Kushel, MD, director of the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, said, "We learned a lot about what we can do when we treat homelessness like the crisis that it is."
They Sacrificed To Care for Family and Ended Up on the Street
NPR • May 29, 2024
Becoming homeless is an extreme example of the financial squeeze on caregivers. In the early 2000's research revealed people experiencing homelessness in California were getting older. Margot Kushel, MD, director of the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, and her team found that older homeless adults who occasionally stay with a family member were actively caregiving. Dr. Kushel said, "These were folks who had left behind something to go care for mom, and then the bottom falls out."
More Older Californians Are Falling Into Homelessness. A New Study Examines Why
Los Angeles Times • May 28, 2024
Among people experiencing homelessness in California, the group rising the fastest by proportion is older adults. A recent special report released by the UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative on older adult homelessness highlights their experiences during homelessness, and what impacted their return to permanent housing. Margot Kushel, MD, director of the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, said, "The dramatic rise in homelessness among older adults has severe consequences for the health and safety of those who experience it and for our society at large. Now is the time for investments in real solutions to prevent and end homelessness among this vulnerable population."
Unhoused Californians Are Getting Older, And They’re Staying Unhoused Longer
LAist • May 27, 2024
Californians experiencing homelessness are aging, presenting unique challenges.  A recent special report released by the UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative on older adult homelessness highlights their experiences during homelessness, and what impacted their return to permanent housing. Margot Kushel, MD, director of the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, said, "The older you are when you first become homeless, sort of the more stuck in homelessness you get."
Recent Policy Reforms May Help California Domestic Violence Survivors Stay Housed
San Francisco Public Press • May 13, 2024
As of January 2024, Californian landlords accepting Section 8 vouchers or other housing subsidies may not use credit reports when screening tenant applications. This policy reform will greatly benefit people who have experienced intimate partner violence. The financial instability can cascade into all parts of survivors lives. Margot Kushel, MD, director of the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, said, “There are only so many places you can hide when you are vulnerable.”
News
Boomers Own Half of U.S. Wealth. So Why Are We Seeing More Homeless Boomers?
The Wall Street Journal • May 13, 2024
Baby boomers own over 35% of all large homes in the US, and many of these older Americans are choosing to stay in their homes, exacerbating housing costs. This problem is even more apparent in California because their unique tax law incentivizes people to stay. On the other hand, younger boomers reaching retirement are increasingly facing homelessness. The University of California, San Francisco Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative California Statewide Study of People Experiencing Homelessness, found that over 40% of homeless older adults in California were homeless for the first time after the age of 50.
Myths about Homeless People with Dr. Margot Kushel
Factually! with Adam Conover • May 8, 2024
On this podcast episode of Factually! with Adam Conover, Margot Kushel, MD, director of the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, joins host Adam Conover to discuss the findings in the California Statewide Study of People Experiencing Homelessness and dispel myths related to homelessness. The number of people experiencing homelessness has reached a record high in the US. "You are not seeing the 12 people to a room because that's invisible to those who are lucky enough not to experience that."
The Homelessness Crisis & Mental Health
Call to Mind • May 1, 2024
Margot Kushel, MD, director of the UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, joins Call to Mind host Kimberly Adams to talk about those who are more at risk of becoming homeless. People who are experiencing homelessness have higher untreated mental illnesses and substance use disorders than the general population. "The people in the 50s and 60s have all of the characteristics of the people we normally think of in their 70s or 80s. What we see is a lot of falls, a lot more worsening of people's cognitive abilities, of people's hearing." Dr. Kushel said.
A Sacramento Homeless Encampment Signed a Lease with the City. The Experiment is in Jeopardy
Los Angeles Times • April 25, 2024
Safe Ground Sacramento is a nonprofit that advocates for the decriminalization of homelessness and the establishment of Safe Ground communities. In March 2023, Safe Ground Sacramento signed a lease with the city of Sacramento. Under this agreement, the city cannot close Camp Resolution until every resident has been placed in "individual permanent durable housing." The agreement with the city is set to expire in June and the city has decided not to request an extension. This is the fourth installment of a 4 part series exploring solutions to homelessness in California.