Homelessness among older adults at record levels, St. Vincent De Paul says
Homelessness among older adults and adults with disabilities has increased to record levels.
In September, there were 898 older adults in Maricopa County who were homeless. That’s according to Julia Matthies, director of Ozanam Manor at St. Vincent De Paul. She’s in charge of transitional housing for older adults and adults with disabilities.
She says seniors on fixed incomes are being priced out of the housing market.
“With their Social Security they might be making $1,600 and that used to be enough to rent an apartment, and now it is not enough to be renting an apartment," Matthies said. "We have to wait on those senior housing subsidies so that and those waitlists can be one or two years long.”
She says this is the first time some of these older adults have to deal with this.
"I think 25% of people who live here are 70 or older which is a big increase form what it used to be," she said. "I know we are seeing people come in who are really first time homeless that they had apartments and they just couldn't afford them."
Matthies says the average time a person stays in one of St. Vincent De Paul’s beds is six months. She says a big reason seniors are becoming homeless for the first time is because they are on fixed incomes and being priced out of their existing apartments.