BOZEMAN — Members of HRDC say that we are on the precipice of a severe crisis in Montana when it comes to unhoused elderly people. Specifically in Bozeman, HRDC says they've seen an increase in unhoused elderly, and they believe this is mostly due to the high cost of living and their Social Security money isn't enough to live on.
HRDC's Jenna Huey says, "Last year, we saw about 30 individuals over the age of 65 staying with us. This year we've seen at least 48. If we extend that out to the population of 55 to 61, which are the ones that are entering into that population, that jumps up to about 73 for the entire year. And so we are seeing an increase in folks experiencing homelessness who are in that aging population," says Huey.
"And with the housing boom in Bozeman and the bubble that is keeping it incredibly difficult for folks who have great income and are working full time and have great credit, it's even hard for them to be able to find housing, let alone someone who maybe is on fixed income from retirement or Social Security or has been living in the same place for most of their life," she added.
HRDC has a very strong senior program that provides in-home support, navigation for health services, and more. HRDC is looking to hire more warming center staff. You can apply or donate on the HRDC Careers web page.