Advocates for homeless people in many big cities say they have seen a spike in the number of elderly homeless, who have unique health and housing needs. Some communities, including Phoenix and Orange County in California, are racing to come up with novel solutions, including establishing senior shelters and hiring specially trained staff.
Tuesday, May 23, 2023
Aging Issues in the News
To me, it seems recently there are more articles in major publications about aging than in the past. For example, yesterday in the Washington Post, there were three:
‘Granny flats’ play surprising role in easing California’s housing woes
Seniors are flooding homeless shelters that can’t care for them;
an opinion esssay, My neighbor lived to be 109. This is what I learned from him.
The "Granny Flats" article notes that this popular name for accesssory dwelling units is someo thing of a misnomer today as the focus of the article is on the popularity of using ADUs to help with the housing crisis:
The numbers tell the tale: More than 23,000 ADU permits were issued in California last year, compared with fewer than 5,000 in 2017 — which was around when ADU permitting began to take off thanks to legislative and regulatory changes in the state. The state now requires faster permit approval by localities, and establishes that cities must allow ADUs of at least 850 square feet — though many are much bigger. A number of other bills are being debated in Sacramento, including one by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D) that would allow property owners to sell their ADUs separately from their main houses.
The second article, also on housing, is more troubling, noting the number of elders who are unhoused.
Nearly a quarter of a million people 55 or older are estimated by the government to have been homeless in the United States during at least part of 2019, the most recent reliable federal count available. They represent a particularly vulnerable segment of the 70 million Americans born after World War II known as the baby boom generation, the youngest of whom turn 59 this year.
“It’s just a catastrophe. This is the fastest-growing group of people who are homeless,” said Margot Kushel, a professor of medicine and a vulnerable populations researcherat the University of California at San Francisco.
The opinion piece is based on a forthcoming book about the author's 109 year old neighbor. ("This essay was adapted from “The Book of Charlie: Wisdom from the Remarkable American Life of a 109-Year-Old Man,” by David Von Drehle.")
And these articles are in addition to articles about the debt ceiling negotiations. Off to read more.