Catholic Vancouver November 27, 2018
Catholic, other shelters alarmed by rising seniors homelessness
The number of people aged 55+ living on the streets in Vancouver is high and rising.
“It is a trend we have been experiencing in our own shelter, seeing a steady uptick in the numbers over the past five years,” said Scott Small, director of Catholic Charities Shelter Services. His organization runs the Men’s Hostel, a shelter with 102 short-term beds and an extreme weather response program.
He said 50 per cent of guests at his shelter are over 55, with many over 65.
“Homelessness is a huge issue for seniors,” said Small. “We have more than you would think: first-time homeless seniors that have worked their whole lives, have pensions, but not enough for housing here in Vancouver, or were ‘renovicted.’”
He said he has been lobbying for a shelter specifically geared toward seniors for years.
“They are a special sub-demographic that needs as much attention as the other recognized categories, like women, families, children, aboriginal, trans, and low-barrier harm-reduction-geared facilities and programs,” he said. “I believe seniors get left out because they are overlooked and less vocal than other populations.”
Celine Mauboules, executive director of the Homelessness Services Association of B.C., says she’s heard an increasing number of stories about seniors on the streets.
“Maybe it’s a senior that’s on a fixed income and has lived in an affordable rental apartment, and the rents go up and all of a sudden they can’t afford it,” she told the Vancouver Sun.
“Or, they go into a hospital for health issues … and by the time they come out, they haven’t paid their rent and have been evicted.”
The Metro Vancouver homeless count also found single-parent families are increasingly represented on the streets. In 2014, there were 88 accompanied children; in 2017, that number rose to 119.
Spokespersons for the Salvation Army and Union Gospel Mission have both said they have noticed the rise in seniors and families relying on their services.
Vancouver churches fear for Hong Kong Christians
Catholics and non-Catholics from around the Lower Mainland rallied outside the Chinese consulate on Granville Street Vancouver...
Plastic out, pasta in: Straw-Ghetti, mugs part of green dividend
Owners of a start-up company in Coquitlam have discovered cutting down on plastic isn’t just good for the environment; it can...
Unplanned to get one-week run at ‘handful’ of Cineplex theatres
*At press time June 27, The B.C. Catholic confirmed with Cineplex spokesperson Sarah Van Lange that the chain will be screening...
Teen got her confidence boost at summer leadership camp
Both of Nicole McCreedy’s parents are so active in youth ministry, it’s only natural people would think they’re the reason she...
Langley MP was ‘a man of faith and courage’: Archbishop Miller
After a brief battle with cancer, Langley-Aldergrove Conservative MP Mark Warawa has died. He was 69. Warawa died in hospice...
Designer baby debate needs Catholic input: UBC Jesuit
Canadians haven’t made up their minds about designer babies, but one Catholic scientist thinks the Church should be part of the...
Love and marriage go together at singles mixer
Who better to speak to a group of young people about the importance of marriage than some experienced couples, as well as a...