Growing Cohort of Homeless Seniors Need Your Help

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Growing Cohort of Homeless Seniors Need Your Help

This National Homelessness Week the IRT Foundation is asking for your support to help older people who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless.

IRT Foundation Manager, Toby Dawson says older women are the fastest growing cohort of homeless people in Australia.

“On any given night there’s over 15,000 people over the age of 55 sleeping rough in Australia, including 2000 over the age of 75,” he said.

“That’s 300 busloads of Aussie seniors with nowhere to call home, and the research says that 64% of them will die within five years.

“This statistic is truly shocking, but government support for homelessness is primarily targeted at young people and families.

“IRT Foundation is working to address this gap by helping disadvantaged older people access housing, support services and opportunities for social and civic participation.”

In 2016/17 the Foundation helped 90 clients through its Assistance with Care and Housing (ACH) Program, mostly older women who were sleeping rough.

“Older women are particularly vulnerable to becoming homeless because a lifetime of caring for others may leave them with little to no super,” Mr Dawson said.

“The single age pension is only $440 a week, which doesn’t cover the high cost of living and makes standard rental accommodation unaffordable.”

The ACH Program matches clients with age-friendly, affordable housing, including in IRT Communities, which provides housing at below-market rent in its Lifestyle Communities.

“We want to help more disadvantaged older people get off the streets and into safe, secure housing,” said Mr Dawson.

“That’s why this National Homelessness Week we’re calling on the community to join us and donate to our Neverland Ball Fundraising Campaign.

“IRT funds the work of our Foundation, but the more money we raise, the more vulnerable older people we can help.”

Buy a ticket to the Ball on 1 September, make a donation, or gift an experience or prize to auction off at the Ball. To get involved go to www.irtfoundation.org.au or email irtfoundation@irt.org.au.

Every dollar counts.

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