Home for the Homeless

July 18, 2022

Homelessness in older adults is an emerging crisis according to the American Society on Aging, citing that approximately half of the nation’s homeless population are over the age of fifty. This statistic is staggering considering that only 11% of homeless were over the age of 50 only twenty years ago.

 When older adults spend a disproportionate amount of their monthly income on rent, it requires they reduce spending on other necessities like healthcare and healthy food while making it nearly impossible to accumulate any savings. Meanwhile, the likelihood of job loss, sickness or the death of a partner increases as they grow    older. Many find that one small set back is all it takes to put them behind financially and place them on the  daunting path towards homelessness.

 Joy Keels, Vice President of MRC Affordable Housing explains, “It’s a much bigger problem than most people realize. MRC Affordable Housing has a ‘homelessness preference’ distinction that allows those experiencing homelessness to jump to the top of the list. In the last five years alone, we’ve provided a home for at least 100 older adults in this situation and provided housing to countless others who may have experienced homelessness without this ministry.”  

 Once at the community, the elders are connected with a Service Coordinator who ensures their needs are being met by assessing what other services they may be eligible for. “Many are overwhelmed by all of the applications and  paperwork certain benefits require. That’s why we step in to help them be successful,” shares Keels.        Additionally, elders have access to a complimentary food pantry, laundry accommodations and transportation services.


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