America’s Homeless Ranks Growing As More Retire On Streets

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Academics predict that their numbers will nearly treble in the next decade, forcing policymakers to come up with new ways to protect the last of the baby boomers as they become older, sicker, and less able to afford skyrocketing rents.

Karla Finocchio’s journey to homelessness began after she divorced her 18-year partner and moved in with a relative.

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After back surgery, the 55-year-old planned to utilize her $800-per-month disability payout to find an apartment. But she was soon sleeping in her old truck, guarded by her German Shepherd mix Scrappy, unable to afford lodging in Phoenix, where typical monthly rates for a one-bedroom jumped 33 percent during the coronavirus outbreak to over $1,220, according to ApartmentList.com.

Finocchio is one face of America’s graying homeless population, a rapidly growing group of penniless and desperate persons aged 50 and above who find themselves without a permanent home as a result of a job loss, divorce, family death, or a health problem during a pandemic.

Academics predict that their numbers will nearly treble in the next decade, putting pressure on policymakers from Los Angeles to Innovative York to come up with new solutions for housing the last of the baby boomers as they become older, sicker, and less able to afford skyrocketing rents. Advocates claim that considerably more housing is required, particularly for the very poor.

According to a 2019 research sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania, the number of adults 65 and older experiencing homelessness in the United States would nearly triple from 40,000 to 106,000 by 2030, resulting in a public health disaster as their age-related medical issues rise.

Dr. Margot Kushel, the director of the University of California, San Francisco’s Center for Vulnerable Populations, said that her research in Oakland on how homelessness affects health revealed that nearly half of the tens of thousands of older homeless people in the United States are on the streets for the first time.