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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Elders Living at Home

Nature and Purpose
For over 30 years the Elders Living at Home Program (ELAHP) has been serving homeless and formerly-homeless Boston elders (age 55+).  ELAHP’s mission is to support elders in making the transition out of homelessness, to provide supportive services that build on the individual abilities of elders and to help them overcome the barriers to permanent housing.

Services we provide to newly-housed elders and elders at risk of becoming homeless include:

  • Intensive Case Management
  • Nursing Assessments
  • Home Monitoring
  • Medication Management
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Eviction Prevention

Note the average income for our clients is roughly $650 per month and an estimated 20% are non-English speakers (majority of whom speak Spanish).  Additionally, students will be exposed to and working with undocumented elders, many of whom have zero income.

Within the homeless service field, terms like prevention and stabilization are often tossed around.  What do we mean by them…?  Students will gain first hand exposure and knowledge of the causes leading an elder towards homelessness.  Students will see that oftentimes homelessness is not the direct result of a single event, but of a downward cycle in which an elder lacks the resources or ability to upright themselves.  For example, an elder goes without food in order to afford their rent, they get sick and cannot afford their medication, they then lack money for transportation to and from the hospital, etc.

It is our hope that PULSE students will come to understand our diverse and integrative approach towards stabilizing at-risk elders.  We must make sure they have food, affordable health care, transportation, a primary care doctor, are getting enough exercise, have a reliable income, etc…the tasks we offer will allow PULSE students the opportunity to understand the complex nature of our mission and our services. 

Tasks
PULSE students may:

  1. Work with low-income elderly individuals to help them find housing, going online, etc.
  2. Assist elders with information and documentation for housing search
  3. Accompany clients to appointments along with case managers
  4. Help ELAHP with data tracking (very small part of tasks)
  5. Assist case managers with client assessment, doing housing applications
  6. Assist clients with providing other stabilization services