Finding a place to call home



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Vancouver, July 25, 2013 - Like an increasing number of seniors in Metro Vancouver, Judy found herself facing the possibility of homelessness. She seeked help through United Way-supported Seniors Services Society.

I felt for sure I would be sitting on the ‘side of a road’ with my remaining possessions surrounding me.

In January 2010, at the age of 64, Judy filed for bankruptcy. Selling her furniture and collection of jewelry helped pay the rent until May. Then her money ran out. “I had severe health issues and my partner had just suffered a heart attack and was in the hospital.

“I felt for sure I would be sitting on the ‘side of a road’ with my remaining possessions surrounding me,” Judy says. “With my inability to walk very far, it was very stressful in trying to secure a permanent apartment.”

Like an increasing number of seniors in the Metro Vancouver area, Judy found herself facing the very real possibility of homelessness. Between 2009 and 2012 there was a 45% increase in the number of seniors on the social housing waiting list and last year, the annual homeless count found 16% of the regional homeless population were seniors. Seniors at risk of losing their homes can be particularly vulnerable to isolation.

Luckily for Judy, she found a pamphlet with the number to the United Way-supported Seniors Services Society. The Society provides assistance to seniors and helps them to find appropriate housing. She contacted the Society, explained her circumstances and was moved into a temporary housing suite. From there, she made an application for a permanent suite, where she lives today.

“I’d worked my entire life, and never did I ever believe I’d find myself on social assistance. But here I was – and so very GRATEFUL to have this program available to persons in my situation,” Judy says.

United Way supports seniors to stay independent, active and connected. In 2011/12, we helped 27,000 seniors by investing in home support services, and caregiver and outreach programs.

Learn more about how you can help seniors like Judy remain independent in their own homes and communities.

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