Advocates to meet on senior homelessness issue

By From page A4 | December 04, 2012

FAIRFIELD — Solano County’s senior services providers, homeless service providers, county agencies and law enforcement representatives will gather Tuesday in Fairfield to talk about how to best deal with the growing issue of senior homelessness in the county.

Concern about senior homelessness has been around for some time, but as a significant percentage of the population matures, the concern is larger. Tuesday’s event had part of its genesis at a recent meeting at the Fairfield Senior Center to talk about how to address homelessness in the senior population.

The Fairfield Senior Center has seen more older homeless people come to use its services, which created new challenges for the center, according to Rochelle Sherlock of the Senior Coalition of Solano County.

How much of an increase there is in senior homelessness locally is hard to quantify, but senior-care providers and homeless-service providers are seeing more homeless seniors. A recent local Homeless Connect event had a significant number of seniors show up to get assistance.

Some have been chronically homeless while others have been pushed out of their homes by the harsh economy, according to Sherlock.

There are a lot of senior assistance programs to help the area’s elder population, but they are not specifically designed to help senior homeless, Sherlock said.

Tuesday’s event aims to get everyone involved in senor services and homeless services in the same room to talk about how each group can help each other and help senior homeless get better access to case management, food, shelter and health care.

“This is to begin the conversation, to recognize the gaps and challenges,” Sherlock said, adding this will spur future meetings and efforts to find and implement solutions to local senior homelessness.

Registration for the meeting begins at 8:15 a.m. at the Solano County Events Center, 601 Texas St. The meeting is from 8:45 to 11:30 a.m. The meeting includes a free continental breakfast for participants.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompson.

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.

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