Kaiser Permanente, Bay Area Community Services Plan 515-Unit Pipeline for Housing Homeless Seniors

OAKLAND, Calif. — Bay Area Community Services (BACS) and Kaiser Permanente have announced a partnership that will house 515 aging, homeless individuals in Oakland.

Aging on the street is a significant problem in the United States with the average age of Bay Area homeless community members now in the mid-50s, according to Jaime Almanza, executive director of BACS.

“Homeless individuals in their 50s are often as vulnerable as much older people,” says Almanza. “That means addressing the rapid increase in the aging homeless population will become more complex as we deal with chronic health issues such as diabetes and hypertension, respiratory illness, arthritis and mental health.”

As part of the agreement, Kaiser Permanente will work with BACS to house a group of 515 frail adults over the age of 50 who have one chronic condition. In turn, BACS will provide outreach, housing coordination, landlord development, housing locator and tenancy-sustaining services over the long term.

In the last two months, the Kaiser Permanente-BACS partnership has gotten more than 250 aging, unhoused individuals into stable housing with social support services. The Kaiser Permanente-BACS partnership is an early pilot to gather best practices in how to accelerate getting people off the street.

Between 2017 and 2019, homelessness in Alameda County soared 43 percent, while homelessness across all Bay Area counties increased nearly 30 percent, according to the partnership.