Reading the letter from a 71-year-old recently homeless woman posted on your site is a common — yet unfortunate — example of what we encounter every day at Senior Community Centers.

She’s right. We are seeing individuals in their 60s, 70s and 80s who never thought they’d be in poverty or homeless. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness in 2010, senior homelessness in the U.S. is projected to increase by 33 percent by 2020 and more than double by 2050. One unfortunate life event and they find themselves in desperate need of basic necessities, such as food and shelter. They often don’t know where to turn; yet when they find us, we bring them resources, hope and independence.

More than 90 percent of the homeless seniors who participate in our Homeless Prevention Program are permanently transitioned from the street (or their cars) into stable, long-term housing with supportive services. We are also seeing an increase in our clients using the computers and internet access in our Bud & Esther Fischer Cyber Café to update their resumes and apply for job openings. Our resume building classes are always full to capacity.

Our goal is to end senior poverty and hunger through innovative solutions. According to the January 2013 edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, we are among the few centers in the U.S. that focuses on all aspects of wellness for seniors. With so many of our clients living below federal poverty level, Senior Community Centers has evolved into a nationally recognized organization with one of the most innovative, effective models of care for the senior population.

We invite anyone to come see what we do and how we do it. We know what it’s like for seniors who struggle everyday just to survive. And with open arms, we welcome seniors who need assistance to get back on their feet.

Paul Downey is the CEO and president of Senior Community Centers.

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Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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