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Online Tool To Recognize and Respond to Elder Homelessness

Award Information

Department of Health and Human Services
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
200 Reservoir Street NEEDHAM, MA 02494-3191
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Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Online Tool To Recognize and Respond to Elder Homelessness
Agency: HHS
Contract: 1R43AG041537-01
Award Amount: $147,360.00


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Homelessness among elderly Americans is growing. Difficult economic realities have increased the tension between fixed incomes and the high costs of housing, food, transportation, and health care. Many of the over threemillion seniors in the US who are living in poverty are at risk of homelessness. During the transition periods that precipitate homelessness, elders often interact with a workforce ill equipped to recognize and respond to this risk. As a result, providersin hospitals, community health centers, senior centers, and other service organizations make poor choices around discharge, service and care planning, referrals, and public benefit delivery. This comes at a great cost to at-risk seniors, as homelessness can complicate cognitive disabilities, impede emotional health, and exacerbate chronic medical conditions. To respond to the National Institute on Aging's mission to communicate information on aging to health care providers and the public, The Center for Social Innovation (C4) proposes to develop an Online Tool to Recognize and Respond to Elder Homelessness. A prototype will include an Online Learning Module, a Community Resource Guide, and a Screening Tool. The purpose of this online Tool is to equip socialworkers, nurses, case managers, counselors, and others who provide hands-on care for seniors with the knowledge and skills needed to recognize risk of homelessness among the people they serve and to rapidly connect them with available community supports.The ultimate goal of the project is to support providers in connecting their clients to services that will prevent homelessness. Three aims guide this study: (1) Design a prototype Online Tool to Recognize and Respond to Elder Homelessness; (2) Determine the feasibility of the study design and the Tool's ability to equip providers to recognize and respond to homelessness in the aging population; and, (3) Explore the product's commercial potential. C4 will test the feasibility of both the product and study design by collecting quantitative and qualitative data from surveys, focus group discussions, and interviews. A total of 30 direct service providers and 9 administrators will comprise the sample drawn from three study settings: a hospital, community healthcenter, and community senior center. C4 will explore the most appropriate application of the prototype to inform a Phase II study. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Health and human service providers across diverse settings interact with aging individuals onthe brink of homelessness; yet often lack the awareness or tools to respond. This can result in poor choices around service planning, risking the lives and well being of over three million seniors living in poverty. The Online Tool to Recognize and Respond to Elder Homelessness is designed to provide knowledge and tools that service providers can use to identify responsive community supports. )

Principal Investigator:

Suzanne Zerger

Business Contact:

Ellen B. Md
Small Business Information at Submission:

200 Reservoir Street Suite 202 Needham, MA 02494

EIN/Tax ID: 187076304
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No