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Houses first: a home

Proposed by Fir housesyou

ILife is expensive, and perhaps no age group feels this more acutely than our elderly. While Washington State is unlikely to become the number one retirement mecca that sunny Florida has been for years, the number of seniors in our state is growing and will continue to do so as the generation baby boomers are aging.

The biggest expense for those who are retired probably comes as no surprise. It’s housing. Unfortunately, many of our oldest residents may be just one crisis away from the potential of becoming homeless. This is why the services of local associations houses first are so critical.

Surprisingly, a recent study found that half of homeless American adults were over the age of 50, up from just 11% in the early 1990s. And some 44% of those people have never been homeless before, which means that street life is not something they know or are in any way prepared for.

Homes First, founded by forward-thinking local leaders in 1990, has a simple mission: to provide safe, healthy and affordable rental housing to those who need it most, including seniors, who make up about 7% of its residents. Once they have a home through Homes First, seniors can take a worry out of their lives.

“One of the best things I love about seniors living in a Homes First home, which is very close to a lot of seniors, is that even though their only income is social security, no matter what, we make sure their rent stays affordable,” says Shannon Michlitsch, Development Director of Homes First. “And we treat them with dignity and respect.”

Peter J. Crowley, 72, a retired professional photographer, is grateful for the sunny Homes First one-bedroom apartment he moved into eight years ago. “If I need something, they take care of it,” he shares.

After providing the stability and security that comes with having a roof over your head, Homes First connects people to other local services they may need, such as South Sound Superior Services.

A new area of ​​growth for senior housing, including at Homes First, is “secondary suites,” or ADUs, which are smaller living units built on the property of another residence. Two of these homes are under construction through Homes First.

These unique living options can be more affordable than independent or assisted living communities, which can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $10,500 per month, depending on location and services.

This expense is simply beyond the reach of many older Americans. According to AARP, more seniors are delaying retirement or taking part-time jobs just to make ends meet. Retirement programs, which were the norm a generation ago, are becoming rare relics. While 35% of those working in the private sector could rely on them 30 years ago, that number is only 13% today. AARP reports that more than 6.4 million people over the age of 65 live below the federal poverty level.

Yet programs like Homes First, which has a proven track record of providing successful housing for those on very low incomes, require tremendous support from the community, from businesses, from government, and from donors and volunteers. individual. To learn more about Homes First and how to get involved in their valuable local mission, visit Homes First website.