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The Faces of Homelessness — The Elderly

One of the largest generations in our nation, the baby boomers, swelled the ranks of the young when they were born, the workforce as they entered adulthood and the population of older adults as they age. AARP has noted a concerning trend — seniors are becoming one of the fastest-growing groups experiencing homelessness, often for the first time. 

This distressing reality, termed the “graying of America’s homeless,” presents a heartbreaking prospect for seniors who envisioned their later years so differently. Unfortunately, this alarming trend is happening within our community and it’s sad to think of anyone’s parents or grandparents facing this unsettling situation. 

MEET ELAINE, an 80-year-old great-grandmother who came to MRM after being evicted from her Spring Lake apartment, where she had lived for fifteen years. She saved money despite her social security check barely covering her monthly expenses. Unfortunately, this kind-hearted woman met people online and fell for their hard luck stories. Within two years, Elaine had been scammed out of everything and was left with pennies in her bank account. Unable to afford rent, she learned a devastating lesson.

Her 90-day stay at the Women’s and Family Shelter speaks volumes about her unwavering spirit. As she no longer drives, she learned to navigate public transportation for appointments and necessities. Now, she only chats online with those she knows and never lends money. She worked with MRM’s case manager to find a room to rent in a local residence. Elaine shares, “With my age and eviction on file, no one wanted me. I had nowhere to go. I am very grateful for Muskegon Rescue Mission and all they have done to help me.”

Elaine’s story highlights the harsh realities many older individuals face, often due to unexpected circumstances like scams, escalating living expenses and limited housing options. MRM is experiencing an increase in the number of elderly seeking assistance. As a community, we must address the critical issue of homelessness. IT TAKES A COMMUNITY, working together to safeguard the dignity and security of our elderly neighbors in need.

Join us in supporting our aging neighbors by donating today. Your contribution can make a difference in the well-being of our elderly community members.  —  Donate Here

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