“Old and on the Street: The Graying of America’s Homeless” – The New York Times

“The emergence of an older homeless population is creating daunting challenges for social service agencies and governments already struggling to fight poverty.”

Homeless men lined up for food being given out this month in downtown Los Angeles. Many of the nation’s poor have long flocked to Skid Row, drawn by a year-round temperate climate and a cluster of missions and clinics. Credit Monica Almeida/The New York Times

by Adam Nagourney – The New York Times

“LOS ANGELES — They lean unsteadily on canes and walkers, or roll along the sidewalks of Skid Row here in beat-up wheelchairs, past soiled sleeping bags, swaying tents and piles of garbage. They wander the streets in tattered winter coats, even in the warmth of spring. They worry about the illnesses of age and how they will approach death without the help of children who long ago drifted from their lives.

“‘It’s hard when you get older,’ said Ken Sylvas, 65, who has struggled with alcoholism and has not worked since he was fired in 2001 from a meatpacking job. ‘I’m in this wheelchair. I had a seizure and was in a convalescent home for two months. I just ride the bus back and forth all night.’

“The homeless in America are getting old.”

Read this New York Times article in its entirety here.

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