The reality is there aren't a lot of programs out there for people with low income -federal or state. Many elderly in such a situation get social security early if they can, and/or have small pensions. Some live in Section 8 housing, some live with relatives, and sadly, I've met more than I would have liked handling social security disability claims of seniors who have no income who are homeless.
If he needs housing assistance, he should look into public housing or housing vouchers (Section 8) housing
which is low income. If you scroll down that page, there is also a link for people who need assistance with utilities. He should look into getting food stamps as well. And, as you said he had prior work history, he should call social security and see if he can take social security early at 62, versus waiting until he is 65. He would receive less than he would by waiting (they should be able to tell him how much) but since it sounds like this is something badly needed, it's probably worth it.
Also, if he is disabled due to mental and/or physical impairments, then he needs to file for SSDI and SSI. The burden would be on him to demonstrate that these are severe impairments, expected to last at least 12 months or longer, and that they prevent him from doing any
work on a full time basis. Around 60% of applicants are initially denied when they apply, however, so it may be that he has to go through the process of seeking reconsideration of the denial, and then if denied again, asking for a hearing. As I mentioned -that can take a year or longer, and there is no guarantee in the end that a judge will approve him. There are social security disability firms that can help him and they do not charge up front fees -rather, if he wins, then they take a portion of the back pay awarded to him.