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Unhoused Seniors

In Pasadena, seniors over age 62 comprise 15% of the total unhoused population. This significant share is particularly concerning, given that the average age of death for unhoused individuals in Los Angeles County was 47 years compared to 77 years for those who are housed.

Unhoused seniors are more likely to be chronically homeless than the general population (65% vs. 59%). Despite this finding, seniors are more likely to be sheltered than the general homeless population (44% vs. 38%).

Greater racial disparities exist among unhoused seniors. While 44% of unhoused seniors identified as Black, 32% of the total homeless population identified as Black. Further, Hispanic and Latino people and White people are underrepresented among seniors (31% and 45%, respectively).

Nearly three in four seniors (74%) reported living in Pasadena before falling into homelessness. Two out of three seniors did not experience homelessness until they were 40 or older, notably higher than the general homeless population (67% vs. 34%).

The overwhelming majority of seniors (72%) surveyed cited financial reasons as a contributing factor to their experience of homelessness. This factor was significantly higher than the general population, with only 27% of all unhoused people. citing financial reasons contributing to their homelessness.

Seniors were also much more likely to point to eviction or foreclosure as an event that precipitated homelessness (28% v. 6%). For those evicted, 80% of the evictions occurred in Pasadena. These trends signal a need for targeted financial assistance and housing resources.

Unsurprisingly, seniors reported greater health needs overall. This subgroup was more likely to have visited an emergency room within the last three months (53% vs. 47%) and reported higher rates of unmet medical needs than the overall homeless population (39% vs. 29%). Encouragingly, 72% of seniors reported being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 compared to 53% of all people experiencing homelessness.


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