A growing population: houseless seniors
The U.S. Census Bureau in 2010 reported that approximately 12% of Washington State residents were over the age of 65. By 2018, that number rose to approximately 15%. With fixed incomes pacing with the exponential cost of living, and with rising rents the number of houseless seniors is on the rise.
“Every week we meet new seniors who are in need of shelter and emergency support due to their status as houseless. In many cases, the seniors we serve meet the federal definition of chronically homeless, but very regularly we meet seniors in their 70’s and 80’s who are newly homeless and come to our doorstep with no idea about what to do or where to go for help. Seniors experiencing homelessness often have co-occurring challenges including chronic health conditions, mobility challenges, cognitive challenges related to memory or tracking dates and times, and more. As rental and housing prices in our community continue to climb dramatically, seniors living on a fixed income will continue to face immense risk and housing instability. Further, once they do fall into crisis and homelessness, the system overall is under equipped to support them in the ways they need”, said Meg Martin, director of Interfaith Works in Olympia.
SAMSA –Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services recently presented “Engaging Subpopulations of Clients: Experiencing Homelessness with SMI or CODs: Older Adults”. https://ahpnet.adobeconnect.com/pvr06one0uc9/?ptoto=true&html-view=false