At 58, Ella’s story is a stark reminder of how quickly life can change. Just last night, she braved the biting cold, sleeping outside in a chilling 30 degrees with the wind adding to the risk of death. Fortunately, she found a brief respite in a hotel, where we met her.
Life took a turn for Ella after her husband passed away. With her disability preventing her from working, she’s been struggling to make ends meet. Her disability income barely covers a few hotel nights, after which she’s often left to rely on the kindness of others for shelter and food. The cycle of short-term hotel stays is a harsh reality for many with limited income, making the dream of renting an apartment seem unattainable. Weekly-rate hotels often become a trap.
Ella’s situation isn’t unique. Senior homelessness is on the rise, just as housing costs continue to skyrocket. It’s a looming crisis – a perfect storm of homelessness. We need to take action to reach out to our legislators and advocate for solutions to the affordable housing crisis for Ella and countless others in her situation.