AMAC In The Media / Opinion / Politics / Press Releases

Eleven Percent of the Homeless Population Was Over 50 years Old in 1990; Today 50% of the Homeless Population is 50 and Older, says AMAC

homeless senior elder abuse homelessness CaliforniaWASHINGTON, DC – It’s August, a time when it can be pleasant to spend time out of doors. But, says Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC], “it won’t be long before temperatures start to fall and, while most of us have homes for shelter from the elements, tens of thousands Americans live without a roof over their heads. They are the homeless.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, some 12.3% or more of the U.S. population — nearly 40 million men, women and children — live in poverty.  “Too many of them do not have the means to find shelter and, therefore, are forced to live hand-to-mouth and find themselves homeless, which is bad enough for the younger members of that population.  But, consider how hard it is for the elderly and how grim it is for seniors dealing with health issues.”

The Department of Housing and Urban Development says that 553,000 Americans were homeless last year, says Weber.  He adds that “half of them were over 50 years of age and studies show that the 50-plus segment of the homeless population is likely to triple over the next ten years.  In 1990, only 11% of the homeless population was 50 or older.”

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, “Increased homelessness among elderly persons is largely the result of poverty and the declining availability of affordable housing among certain segments of the aging.”

Former HUD Secretary Mel Martinez says that providing affordable housing is key to the task of stemming the tide of homelessness among the elderly.

Margot Kushel, MD, professor of medicine at UC-San Francisco, is an expert on the elderly who become homeless and she agrees with Martinez.  According to Kushel, “A lot of these people have been healthy their whole lives.  But it doesn’t take long for their health to plummet once they’re homeless.  Once someone is housed, depression often lifts, stress fades away, infections heal.  It’s instant.”

Dr. Kushel heads up the University’s Center for Vulnerable Populations and was recently tapped to direct a new initiative funded by a $30 million gift from philanthropists Marc and Lynne Benioff.  The new Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative is devoted to the task of finding practical, “real world” solutions aimed at ending homelessness, particularly homelessness among older victims.

Says Weber, “everyone has his own set of priorities, but one thing we all have in common is that we are all growing older.  It’s one of the hardest things we will all do in this life and so we should have compassion for those who need our help.”

If you are able, there are things you can do as individuals to help alleviate the problem, even if it’s only donating unused clothing to a local homeless shelter, he adds.  Meanwhile, do some research and find out just how dire is the fate of the homeless.

“You’ll be surprised the impact you can have by becoming a part of the solution and how good you’ll feel.”

ABOUT AMAC

The Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] [https://www.amac.us], with 1.9 million members, is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members.  We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today.  Live long and make a difference by joining us today at https://amac.us/join-amac.

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Cathy
2 years ago

Another $30million wasted on research. This is not doing something! Doing something means bringing common sense and compassion back to communities and especially families. Provide food, shelter, clothing and a secure pathway back to living in dignity worthy of a human being. In a society where the value of life has become relative why are we surprised that homelessness has increased.

Dan Dougan
2 years ago

We need to load up all of the homeless. Drive them south of the border, instruct them not to speak a word of English and cross over the border into the US. Problem solved.

Foortball fan
2 years ago

It always concerns me when the solution to poverty is defined as giving things, food, clothes, shelter, etc. While that may be a short term, temporary remedy for an immediate need, the solution is an economy that creates jobs. When someone has a job, they are more likely to be able to provide for themselves and a family. I know this is a generalization and someone will always be able to point out an exception, but it seems that we as a country are on our way to empowering the govt to take over providing for our every need. Except it can’t. Can you spell socialism?

P. Woehrman
2 years ago

I’ve long thought there is no single type of solution to the homeless problems. Each problem needs a different, specialized solution….and co-operation from the needy. Some have drug addictions. Some have mental issues. Some, hopefully temporarily, lost jobs & homes. Some flee abuse. Some are ill. Some like the lifestyle. We have had conversations with a few of those people, young and older, too. They call it “freedom”. Others – particularly male illegal workers – will prefer to sleep in their car….and send most of their earnings home.
We once lived in the Coachella Valley where it’s homeless worker problems were much in the newspapers 15 years ago. Some were living “down valley” in a group of abandoned trailers with extension cords from a single source of electricity, just laying out there when it rained. The paper did a big spread about the homeless problem and interviewed many of the migrant workers. They did not want any housing, did not want to pay anything towards it. The local authorities considered building a few campground-type areas, with water and outhouses. And BBQs. With sun-shades over picnic tables on concrete pads. Sounded like many Forest Service campgrounds that we have stayed at in the past. Maybe better. But no! Even though the workers said they would use that kind of setup, the …..I suppose they were community organizers, and Hispanic organizations, said that was not good enough. It was insulting! Build housing according to code. So nothing happened. I think they removed the trailers.
In the end, no one’s addictions or anti-social choices can be changed without a change of heart. The government is not in the heart-changing business. Nor should it be. But should they institutionalize the damaged helpless ones? An epidemic might answer that. The rest of us should help in any way we can for those who can be helped. I just read where a volunteer had an answer to prayer: “If all of my people would share, there would be enough to go around”. Ouch.

Nancy Taylor
2 years ago

There would be more low-cost housing available if they would kick out all the illegal immigrants being housed there!

Meye2Sense!
2 years ago

Is it true, (let’s talk about the elephant in the room) allowing illegal aliens, refugees from countries the US has invaded or Civil Wars the US has gotten involved with to nation build countries to become democratic, capitalistic & Christian, H1 Visa people (The usual suspects Teacher Unions indoctrinating students to take STEM classes going into debt from over priced Indoctrination Centers only to graduate and find the jobs have been given to VISA holders or convicts in prison. How stupid is that?), outsourcing of jobs (Where were the unions & Democrats?), NAFTA (Another Bill like Obamacare that the politicians had to pass to read what’s in it. Another example of the Americans “asleep at the wheel”!), Apple making most products in Communist China (now crying the blues over tariffs), (didn’t their mothers tell them not to put all of their eggs in one basket?). Who allowed China in the WTO? Nike makes most of it’s products in Communist Vietnam. Who allowed the Japanese to learn the US auto manufacturing process (Remember Lee Iacocca showing off to the Japanese while they photographed the auto plants?)? GM used some of their tax payer bailout money to expand their facilities in China. GM sells more cars in China than the US. How long before they build all of their cars in China but still want the right to sell them in the US? Check out the tariffs Germany charges for American vehicles shipped to Europe versus what BMW, VW, Mercedes, etc. pays in US tariffs. What idiot still believes in Free Trade (vs Fair Trade, watch Frontline Documentary). Didn’t their Mom or Dad teach them nothing is free? In the good old days if companies wanted to sell something in the US they made it in the US (Why is it okay if Canada, Brazil, Mexico, the EU can protect their markets and jobs but the US can’t? The Chinese used to kill people trying to get a tea plant out of China and their wall did work (Israel’s wall is working, East Germany’s wall worked, North Korea’s wall is a success and why are many countries erecting fences on their borders?). I thought there was going to be a tax on $20B in remittances to Mexico per year that was supposed to pay for the wall. The Japanese fiercely protected their pearl industry, (the Australians tried unsuccessfully to duplicate the quality of pearls.) The Japanese never paid reparations to the US POWs who slaved in their factories during WWII. Now days the new “neo-slavery” comes in the form of prisoners working for US corporations for less than a $1.00 per hour. It is a brilliant concept: Corporations get free slaves that cost them nothing, they don’t have to feed them, they don’t have to pay to house them, they can’t quit unless they escape and the government rounds them up for free, they get no pension, 401K, H.S.A., benefits, no $15 minimum wage, they don’t have to pay for healthcare, dental insurance, no vacation, no sick leave, no unions, no Civil Service Rules, they don’t have to bother selling them, there is a steady growing supply, etc., you get the picture. I guess you can’t fix stupid. Remember when the great Socialist Nikita Khrushchev threatened to bury the US? Well we are going to do it to ourselves once the Communist/Socialist/Democrats get in office (Student debt forgiveness, vehicle loan forgiveness, mortgage debt forgiveness, Medicare for all, New Green Deal, carbon tax, free education even if students study in a foreign country, etc. Do you think some of these decisions from the past might be a reason for our current problems with homelessness, the unemployed, under employed, drugs, suicides, crime, poverty, low wages (Remember Walmart telling their employees to sign up for food stamps or threaten to close the store if the workers join a union?). Who can make up this stuff? Anyways, this is the legacy parents are leaving for the grand children (student debt, no jobs, etc.) Don’t bother fact checking this rant I made most of it up (fake commentary, LOL!). Good luck to the kids in the next generation (whatever it is called), you will need it!

Sam
2 years ago

Too bad we have to spend our money on illegal aliens of any description BEFORE we can spend any money on the homeless of any description. Thanks, Democrats.

Mickie Enders
2 years ago

Why is it the Democrats step over our own homeless and needy to shower ILLEGALS with free benefits?

P. Woehrman
2 years ago
Reply to  Mickie Enders

It’s called vote harvesting.

Lilli
2 years ago
Reply to  Mickie Enders

I ask that question daily!!!!

wandamurline
2 years ago

But we can furnish the new Muslim immigrants housing and about $3700 a month or more….we can give the illegals free medical care, educate their kids, furnish them housing, and food stamps…..but we can’t take care of our poor elderly and families and veterans forced to live on the streets. We don’t need to drain the swamp, we need to completely change out Washington from top to bottom, including activists judges, Congress, Senate….everyone but our President….give him the people to stop obstructing and we might just get our poor taken care of and the illegals deported.

Mickie Enders
2 years ago
Reply to  wandamurline

ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!

Jack Thomas
2 years ago

Homelessness in the United States of America. It’s a national disgrace! This should not be happening in the wealthiest nation on earth.
I remember answering my front door one day many years ago, in the 1980s. A school kid was going around the neighborhood soliciting for his school’s fund-raiser to help the local homeless. He was maybe 12 or 13 years old, a nice kid. I remember that he was almost apologetic when he told me: “My mother said if there are homeless people it’s their own fault.” My immediate thought was how callous of his mother to take that view — yet here was her son volunteering his time, trying to do something good. I reached into my pocket, pulling out some bills and gave him a donation, telling him “That isn’t true and your mother should know better.” It occurs to me that too many in our society look at the homeless problem through the same narrow lens. There is a widespread public misunderstanding of the problem but, like the hardcore drunk, you’re not going to help that person by disparaging them, making them feel like dirt. You help them with common sense and with heart.

The homeless problem in America could be solved if our government leaders and the majority of the public who have a roof over their heads, clean clothes, a car, money in the bank, and enough food to eat would stop thinking of the homeless person as “not their problem” — if they thought about it at all.
The homeless problem could be solved if those same people didn’t shrug it off, dismissing the sad fact that the homeless spend their days and nights scrounging for something to eat, a place to get warm in winter, and languishing joylessly in the back alleys of our own cities.
The homeless problem could be solved if the “socialist” Democrats who profess to have such great compassion for the poor and otherwise disadvantaged worried less about housing and benefits for “illegal immigrants” and more about homeless citizens who, at some point, were also paying their salaries.
The homeless problem could be solved if Washington, D.C. stopped sending billions of dollars in aid to foreign despots and put that money to better use helping homeless Americans, many of whom are on the street through no fault of their own.

To date, I have not heard even ONE Democratic presidential candidate being asked, “What will you do as president to alleviate the homeless problem in our country?” Nor have any of these Democrats voluntarily raised the subject publicly that I’m aware.

Many of us can look into the mirror and know that we’ve been more fortunate than the homeless person down on their luck. But we also haven’t done nearly enough to heal this scar across the American landscape.

Lilli
2 years ago
Reply to  Jack Thomas

Well said!!!

Bob Hegerman
1 year ago
Reply to  Jack Thomas

Homeless people don’t vote with high propensity…That is why the politicians avoid the topic

Aardvark
2 years ago

My wife and I care for disabled adults and one thing we have learned is that many of the people in care facilities were homeless after developing schizophrenia. Most had previous drug addictions prior to developing the disease and becoming homeless. Some of these people are not capable of living on their own because they quickly revert back to their illicit drugs and alcohol, stop taking the medications that kept them calm and subdued their hallucinations, and would soon become homeless again. They need constant supervision, assistance with their meds, someone to take them to appointments, make them meals, clean their laundry and rooms, make sure they bathe and wash their hands, etc. We have a “Certified Family Home” (called by other names in other states) and we provide this care as our business, which saves our state thousands of dollars a year compared to housing these people in assisted living or nursing homes. More states need to start these programs to save the state’s money, provide needed care in a home environment, and provide the disabled homeless adults a safe place to live while providing basic needs for them. It is actually a rewarding business in more ways than one.

Mickie Enders
2 years ago
Reply to  Aardvark

Bless you!

Peter K
2 years ago

$30,000,000 to STUDY the problem? Why don’t they use the money to build a shelter for these people? Ah, it’s because liberals love to feel good and milk every financial windfall of grants and donations but do little to solve the problem. Few of us need to be reminded of people living under overpasses and bridges so I say, “if you’re serious, simply put the donations to work”, not in your pocket while you only want to lecture us on the problem. That includes conservatives as well. How much does any person or family need? Billionaire should be generous, however, greed is a powerful motivator. We’ve heard it in a movie “build it and they will come”. At least that what the do-gooders want us to believe when, in reality, many of the homeless population made a conscious decision to live that lifestyle.

Chris
2 years ago

The top-ten American cities for homelessness are sanctuary cities,Hum ?

John
2 years ago

Some of those homeless people are that way because they want to be. They don’t want anyone telling them what they can and can’t do. They don’t mind being out in the elements(most are former military, I’ve met a few in my city and that is what they tell me). I’m wouldn’t want to see women children living like that though!

Gerry Santomassimo
2 years ago

These are the folks (plus our Veterans) we need to help instead of wasting funds on illegals.

Katherine M Bach
2 years ago

Amen

Patricia Austin
2 years ago

Totally agree !!!

Pat
2 years ago

California has half the homeless population in the country. They are given everything they need while on the streets; food, tents, money, which they spend to further their destructive habits, phones, etc. In the words of one homeless woman in Seattle, “I have everything I need; why should I get a job?” Laws against defecating or urinating in public, doing drugs, etc., are not enforced. In the forests, we are admonished not to feed the wildlife as they become dependent on humans; the same can be said for the homeless, or the poor for that matter. Give them a helping hand, but require them to expend some energy to lift themselves up. Billions have been spent on the homeless, yet their numbers grow; trillions have been spent on the “War on Poverty”, yet there is no change in those levels.

As far as affordable housing is concerned, California, at least, needs to lift the overburdening regulations so affordable housing can be built. Right now in Central California, the most affordable in the state, it costs $400,000 a UNIT to build affordable housing! That is nuts!

Rik
2 years ago

People, I live in sunny, over-exspensive California. I can believe these numbers. A homeless senior friend I know, lives in his car. He worked 43 years for a number of small companies as a print advertising salesman. He was hired as a “independent contractor” on straight Commission because these companies were too small to afford to pay health insurance nor did they offer pension plans. Now he lives on less than $1000 per month of fixed SSI. He was forced to take his SSI at age 62 because of health issues at the time. Social Security will not increase his payment even though he is now homeless living in his car. He signed up for affordable Senior housing 5 years ago but was quietly told he had no chance because ANY MINORITY Hispanic, Black or Asian were given 1st preference, then white women, white men were last and since he wasn’t a Veteran, he was basically told he had no chance. I hate to say it, but “white people” are now the discriminated class in America.

PaulE
2 years ago
Reply to  Rik

Hi Rik,

I think you can safely change the name of your state from Cali-Mexico to just Mexico. Just erase the southern border line on all your maps and you’re all set. No more confusion about which way the state is going, as between Jerry Brown and now Newsome, the Democrat Party has sealed California’s fate and opted to secede from the United States in all by filing the formal paperwork. With California now being essentially a northern province of the country of Mexico, that means it is no longer part of the United States and all the Congressional representatives in both the House and Senate have to vacate their seats in Congress. That should actually be quite beneficial for the United States however, as folks like Schiff, Waters, Pelosi, and the rest of the California leftist contingent would be gone. If they want to hold political office, they can all attempt to do so within the Mexican legislature. Good luck with that!

Anyway, after seeing how the Mayor of Los Angeles essentially ceded 50 square blocks to become a sanctioned homeless encampment and then handed over tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to various community organizer front groups to “administer” the new no-go zone, it is quite apparent that the Democrat Party can get away with anything in California and there is NO effective resistance left in the state. Don’t feel bad though, as the other Democrat controlled states in the country are racing to catch up to replicate the same horrendous state of disrepair and incompetence the Democrats have already created in California.

Rik
2 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Hi PaulE, if you check the names of our state legislators and at least 60% have Hispanic names. You forgot to mention Kamala Harris, our deranged Senator running for President. This state especially is nuts, but then again, the whole so-called Democratic Socialist Party has gone berserk with DTS (deranged Trump syndrome) since Trump got elected.

PaulE
2 years ago
Reply to  Rik

Hi Rik,

I didn’t want to list all of the Congressional Democrats, because frankly half don’t warrant a mention and the rest are known by everyone. Having the state simply drop the pretense of being anything other than another district of Mexico would effectively remove ALL the California Democrats from Congress and greatly reduce the Party’s influence in our national policies.

Yes, California, as well as every other Democrat-controlled state, like my own PRNJ (Peoples Republic of New jersey) headed up by Murphy has dropped the pretense of being so-called “moderates” and gone full-on socialist. What many folks on our side call TDS. They are not just upset with Trump, but rather with the fact that they were within a single election in 2016 of being able to push the United States into becoming a socialist democracy by the end of Hillary’s first term. That is until enough of the American people in 2016 had sufficient mental clarity to vote for Trump and deny Hillary’s ascent to the Presidency.

Democrats don’t just hate Trump. They hate ALL OF US for having spoiled, at least temporarily unless the same Americans who voted for Trump get off their behinds and start trying to re-educate the brainwashed Millennials, their well laid out plans for this country. So far, the vast majority of American people that voted for Trump have remained largely silent and done little to nothing in this area. The other side is not sitting around and simply “hoping for the best”. They are pushing the socialist brainwashing hard with the mainstream media, colleges and universities and various celebs all targeting the Millennial and Gen Z generations ahead of the election. So we have to do more than just whine and hope for the best. I’ve been to enough so-called socialist utopias in my lifetime to realize that I don’t want the United States to become one and have been doing my small part to try and prevent it.

Rik
2 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

I’m doing my best to address every Democrat as “Comrade” just to point out how Communist Democrats have become.

PaulE
2 years ago
Reply to  Rik

Do you try to at least point out how the various policies they support have actually resulted in creating the total mess that California has become and suggest how a few conservative solutions would help in returning the state to a better condition? You know, a constructive conversation to try and get them to think about what they have been supporting and hopefully get a few of them to potentially re-evaluate their support of Democrat politicians. Calling them “comrade” isn’t quite what I meant by reaching out to Millennials or Gen Z’ers. That would be like every Democrat you meet starting the conversation by calling you “racist” or “white supremist”. You wouldn’t listen to anything they said after starting off that way.

We need to reduce the number of Democrat voters going into 2020 by getting them to realize how flawed and destructive the Democrat agenda is to their own well being. Even if they don’t care about the country in general. Remember, only 77,000 votes in 3 key states gave President Trump the Electoral College win. We need to increase our numbers by thinning out the Democrat voter ranks. That means winning hearts and minds.

Rik
2 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

What I do point out when possible is that I tell them to compare Bernie Sanders economic policy if elected, to Josef Stalin’s 1957 policy, it’s almost word for word. But of course I’m sure they don’t check it out though. To a leftist, facts aren’t truth, unless it’s their facts.

Erin Tatman
2 years ago
Reply to  Rik

That is really sad because we are all human! Race at the expense of Race

Lilli
2 years ago
Reply to  Rik

Wow. I totally agree!!! What can we do????

James Bair
2 years ago

Is there any data that would correlate social or political events or trends to this change? Such as drugs, destruction of family life, promotion of socialism, lack of education etc.

Chuck Chadwick
2 years ago

Is it a lack of appropriate planning or a lack of opportunities?

Shirley V Allen
2 years ago

Build lots of small houses and make a small neighborhood since they know each other from the street

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