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Evaluation of the Elderly Victim's Emergency Security Fund

NCJ Number
Mary Harkins-Schwartz MPH; Melissa Meisenhelder BA
Date Published
March 2001
58 pages
This report evaluates the elderly victim's emergency security fund (EVESF) program in Philadelphia.
Findings indicate that the services provided by the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE) through EVESF are valuable resources to older adults living in Philadelphia to help make their homes more secure. The EVESF assists older Philadelphians who are on a limited income and are victims of crime or abuse. The study found that most clients (85.4 percent) received assistance with repairing or replacing their door locks, 13.1 percent received assistance with replacing a door, and 24.1 percent received assistance with measures to secure their windows. The cost of securing a home for an older adult is minimal; more than half of the repair services provided between 1997 and 1999 cost less than $100. The majority cost less than $500. Many older adults (70 percent) believed that the EVESF services helped prevent having something stolen from them or their home. Older adults age 65 and older were disproportionately affected by property crimes; 9 out of 10 crimes against older adults were property crimes. More violent crimes against older adults were due to robbery. Crimes against older adults were more likely to occur in or near their homes and to occur in daylight hours than crimes against those less than 65 years of age. However lifestyle differences may partially explain the location and time of crime; 22 percent of older victims of nonlethal violence said that they never went out at night for entertainment, work, shopping or similar. For this evaluation, the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation (PHMC) reviewed client case logs, interviewed clients, and conducted focus groups with older adults, representatives from agencies working with older adults, and Philadelphia police victim assistance officers between 1997 and 1999. Tables, references, appendices