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Report Shows Increase In Homeless Seniors In Richmond

While rates of homelessness in Richmond remained mostly unchanged in 2018, new data shows more seniors are having issues finding stable housing.

The number of people over the age of 55 seeking emergency shelter or transitional housing has increased by more than 30 percent since 2015. That’s according to data from Homeward, the organization that runs Richmond’s Homeless Crisis Line. More than 3, 200 people in total utilized those services in 2018, a number that has remained more or less steady since 2015.

Kelly King Horne, Homeward’s executive director, said some of the increase can be attributed to the aging of the chronically homeless population.

“And the other issue we are beginning to see, and this is really cropping up at the Homeless Crisis Line, are older adults on fixed incomes where something happens to their housing and they are evicted or the housing is condemned or something happens and then they become homeless.”

Horne said the increase in seniors who find themselves homeless is a national trend, and the new data is a starting point for Richmond’s nonprofits to start targeting seniors with housing services.

The report was presented to Richmond City Council’s Education and Human Services Committee on Thursday. Approximately 4,500 people called the Homeless Crisis Line each month of 2018 and nearly 2,000 people were referred to emergency shelters, according to Homeward’s report.

You can see the full presentation  here.

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