Felisa is not wearing a mask just to protect herself from the coronavirus. She doesn’t want people to see her teeth. Felisa is one of the growing populations of elderly homeless in America. Felisa told me her real age, but publicly says she is 70+. Felisa has diabetes, which has caused dental problems that she cannot afford to get fixed.
Felisa moved to California to live with her nephew, but when he lost his apartment, she ended up homeless in Los Angeles. Felisa considers herself lucky to have a van to sleep in. As a senior citizen, Felisa cannot afford to rent an apartment. Even the cost of senior housing is too much.
Over the next decade, the number of elderly homeless Americans is projected to triple — and that was before Covid-19 hit. Policymakers had decades to prepare for this momentous demographic shift, but the social safety net has only frayed under relentless political pressure to slash funding for programs that senior citizens rely on to make ends meet, like subsidized housing, food, and health care.
Now more than ever, your voice is needed to help end homelessness. If we do not fix the affordable housing crisis, homelessness will continue to get worse. Click here to tweet, email, call, or Facebook your federal and state legislators to tell them ending homelessness and creating more affordable housing is a priority to you.
Special thanks to Street Watch LA