As the financial crisis continue forward for all of America, a growing concern is the rise of financial trouble for seniors as the value of not only their homes decline but also their retirement savings being eroded by either the stock market or the need to spend those funds more quickly for day to day living.
The factors leading to elder homelessness are numerous and complex and many at-risk elders live on very low, fixed incomes. They are often too frail to maintain employment and many times, a senior’s ill health results in the loss of a job and a bank account drained by medical expenses. A lack of family support also can precipitate homelessness, and not just for geographic reasons either; many of our residents have family issues that result in long-term estrangements.
All hope is not lost though. Hearth, a a small Boston agency dedicated to assisting seniors who are homeless, provides them with care. Since its 1991 inception, Hearth has found permanent homes for 1,300 homeless elders. Hearth now has seven residences in the South End, Roxbury, Dorchester, Brookline, and Jamaica Plain, and has become a model to like-minded organizations in Los Angeles and Minneapolis.
Check out their website at http://www.hearth-home.org/