Making Senior Female Homelessness Rare, Brief and a One-Time Occurrence
Ending Homelessness for Senior Citizen Females
You gave Merrie hope!
When you are at the grocery store or pumping gas, have you ever seen someone who just looks troubled? That is what happened when I filled my car. I saw a woman whose car was completely packed – not with suitcases like she was going on a trip, but filled with what looked like all of her possessions. She looked disheveled and her face told a story of a hard life. I approached her to ask her if I could ask a question. She said yes and the next few minutes were typical of what we encounter: someone who was working, but could not make ends meet.
She actually worked in that gas station, but had to park in a ‘big box’ lot overnight where it was lit up during the night. Her story was difficult to hear: her husband of 40 years had left her, she lost her job, and her son could not provide for her. Can you imagine the devastation of a 40-year relationship destroyed in one day?! In the past year, she used the Walmart bathroom to wash and got her food from a local food pantry. She said, “I want to stay out of the light.” She finally said, “My name is Merrie.”
Merrie’s story is becoming all too common in Florida: older women suddenly facing homelessness without warning. Sometimes the pressure of maintaining a household or managing finances after a spouse has passed can lead to such a downward spiral that ends in homelessness.
Merrie began working the Hunger & Homeless Coalition after that brief encounter at a gas station. Thanks to incredible generosity of private donors, Merrie is housed, working, and well on the pathway toward stable living. Her wounds from her husband’s abandonment and subsequent homelessness still hurt, but she is receiving counseling to help her emotional recovery.
Donors like you are making it possible for homelessness to be a rare, brief, and a one-time occurrence. You have the power to lift women like Merrie from the emotional, mental and physical depths caused by homelessness. You can give hope where it did not exist before! Please make a gift to the Hunger & Homeless Coalition of Collier County. .
Homelessness is slowly dropping in Collier County, thanks to the care model focusing on rapid rehousing and permanent supportive housing. Your gifts are blazing the trail to end homelessness in Collier County. Thank you for caring for women like Merrie!
Please make a gift to the Hunger & Homeless Coalition today to create more triumphs like Merrie's.