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Homelessness in Older Adults: A Crisis Emerged

Tuesday, September 1, 2020 -
10:00am to 12:00pm PDT
Zoom Meeting
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The number of older adults experiencing homelessness is alarmingly on the rise. At least half of our nation’s unhoused are over the age of 50. In California, older adults are now the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population with annual increases of 20% and growing. Many are entering homelessness for the first time and equally troubling is that the majority are elders of color – who, after enduring a lifetime of racialized inequity, now find themselves growing old in increasingly dire circumstances. Racism and other intersectional issues such as economic security, housing stability, access to primary and behavioral health services determine not only who is most likely to experience homelessness, but also the level of support available in breaking the cycle. Philanthropy regardless of focus area has an important role to play in providing the necessary leadership across all program areas to ensure inequities are addressed to allow all older adults age with dignity.

What will it take to keep elders safe and housed?

In this third virtual meeting hosted by the Aging Intersections Funder Network, we will examine this rapidly intensifying issue and – along with regional leaders and experts, discuss how we can better prepare to meet the housing needs of older adults.

Join us to explore:

  • The underlying, intersectional issues that impact homelessness among older adults, particularly elders of color
  • How philanthropy can add value around this issue even if homelessness isn't your organization's focus
  • Short-term and direct service funding opportunities and long-term, systems and policy-change opportunities within the context of COVID-19 that can equitably improve housing among older adults
  • A new resource in the Aging Intersections Funder Network

The Aging Intersections Funder Network also invites you to review the following materials in advance of our meeting to learn more about the topic of homelessness among older adults. 


Jamie Almanza, Executive Director, Bay Area Community Services

Jamie Almanza has dedicated more than 20 years to uplifting vulnerable community members across California. Ms. Almanza is the Executive Director of Bay Area Community Services (BACS) and has provided strategic leadership to the agency since 2010. Ms. Almanzais an expert in the social services sector, with a lens towards pushing for reform and optimizing infrastructure and scale so that or communities experience true social impact. Before coming to BACS, Ms. Almanza was the Sr. Director of Administration and Quality Improvement at Fred Finch Youth Center, from 1998 to 2010. Beyond this work, Ms. Almanza has supported organizations addressing homelessness and housing, mental health, social services, and substance use services. Ms. Almanza has served on numerous non-profit Boards, with an emphasis on modernizing the system of care, creating smart business offerings, and improving data analysis and continuous quality improvement. Ms. Almanza holds expertise in program start-up and design, budget design, data & reporting design, hiring, and resource development of new programs. BACS has opened over 25new programs in the last 9 years under Ms. Almanza’s leadership. Ms. Almanza led an unprecedented “sprint” to end homelessness, with partner Kaiser Permanente, to rapidly house 515 homeless seniors in Oakland–hitting this target and successfully housing all 515 individuals in just 7 months.Ms. Almanza received her MBA from Mills College and was awarded a full MBA scholarship as part of the 10,000 Woman Initiative to promote global woman leadership. Ms. Almanza is a contributor to the San Francisco Business Times, CASRA publications, and more. Ms. Almanza is an expert in housing and homelessness and has presented local and regional approaches in a TEDx talk, health and homelessness panels, as a policy expert, and more.

Lonnie Gilbert, Participant, Bay Area Community Services

Lonnie is an older adult who has grown up in the Bay Area and worked most of his life. He moved in to take care of his ailing auntie who eventually passed away. At the time, because he was not on the lease he was not able to stay in the unit and did not have representation. He was forced in to houselessness and lived in his car. Lonnie also suffered from chronic health problems and was diagnosed with and beat cancer. Lonnie was able to come inside to BACS’ Housing Navigation Center in Berkeley where he was then able to get his health issues managed and on his way to permanent housing. Lonnie was then provided permanent housing in BACS’ Small Site, single-family home program where he moved in and has been there ever since. He has his own bedroom, enjoys spending time with his roommates, and even though his cancer has returned, he says he is grateful to be sleeping in a warm, clean, beautiful home with a nice kitchen and good people. He is on permanent disability benefits and pays an affordable rent. And recently, when his health issues caused him to get behind on his rent, he was able to get support from BACS to help him stay in his housing.


Dr. Margot Kushel, Professor of Medicine and Division Chief and Director, UCSF

Margot Kushel, MD is a Professor of Medicine at University of California San Francisco, and Division Chief and Director of the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations, and Director of the UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative. She is a practicing general internist at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Margot's research focuses on the causes and consequences of homelessness and housing instability, with the goal of preventing and ending homelessness and ameliorating the effects of homelessness on health. She speaks at a local, state, and national level about issues of homelessness, and provides testimony to legislative bodies. She received her AB from Harvard College, her MD from Yale and completed residency, chief residency and fellowship in internal medicine at UCSF.

Tomiquia Moss, Founder and Chief Executive, All Home

With more than 20 years of leadership and management experience, Tomiquia is locally and nationally recognized as a dynamic nonprofit and public sector leader with expertise in housing, public policy, and community development. Most recently, Ms. Moss served as the CEO of Hamilton Families for the last three years. Hamilton Families offers emergency, transitional, and permanent housing services for families experiencing homelessness. From 2014 to 2017, she served directly under the mayors of both San Francisco and Oakland, most recently as Chief of Staff for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. Previously, she was the Executive Director of the HOPE SF Initiative, a public housing and neighborhood revitalization effort with the late San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee’s Office. Known for innovating in the public sector, Tomiquia served as the founding project director of the San Francisco Community Justice Center of the Superior Court of California. As a social worker and advocate for social justice, she continues to work on behalf of our most vulnerable communities. She holds a Masters’ Degree in public administration from Golden Gate University. Tomiquia and her family are proud to call Oakland home.

Wendy Todd, Consultant, Wendy Todd Consulting (moderator)

Wendy Todd is an independent consultant who helps mission-driven organizations learn, strategize, and make a change. Wendy’s expertise is in gathering and synthesizing information to facilitate data-driven decision-making. In addition, Wendy is known for successfully facilitating cross-sector collaborations to advance social change.




Target Audience 

This program is open to NCG members and nonmember funders only.


Aging Intersections Funder Network


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