Wednesday, April 16, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Service providers reach out to help homeless seniors

aging homeless, 2/22/13

Patricia Armet hugs her dog Precious at the camp she shares with her friend Rusty Martin, left. Solano County's Homeless Management Information System found that 21 percent of the county's homeless population was over the age of 55. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | February 27, 2013 | 3 Comments

FAIRFIELD — Patricia Armet lives in the bushes near the railroad tracks in Fairfield.

She’s a stone’s throw from Mission Solano’s Bridge to Life Center, a long-term homeless shelter on Beck Avenue.

Armet and her friend Rusty Martin, both in their 50s, live among their pile of possessions and a tent pitched against a fence, which gives them protection from the elements and passers-by. The bright spot in her existence is Precious, Armet’s lively, friendly pit bull. But she misses the necessities of life.

“I miss being home,” she said. “I miss the toilet. I miss food.”

The lack of necessities, along with aging, are taking their toll on Armet, who said she has been homeless for eight years. Two years ago, she ended up with a colostomy bag after emergency surgery. Keeping the colostomy area clean without regular bathing facilities and obtaining enough bags for monthly use are both impossible, Armet said. She doesn’t get around much since complications cropped up with the colostomy area.

She’s said she’s afraid of dying homeless, either because of those health issues or by someone else’s hand.

Of the 1,635 people pinpointed as being homeless in Solano County in 2012, 47 percent were over the age of 45, according to statistics from the county’s Homeless Management Information System. Twenty-one percent were over the age of 55. Nationally, only 8 percent of all homeless people are 55 and older, said PJ Davis of Community Action Partnership of Solano, Inc.

“Solano County has an overabundance of seniors in its homeless population,” Davis said Tuesday during a presentation at the Solano County Events Center to various service providers who come into contact with the homeless senior population.

The forum, presented by various agencies, including the Area Agency on Aging, follows up on a December forum that identified gaps in services to the senior homeless population. Those service gaps were identified in the areas of mental heath, substance abuse, transportation and housing. Various speakers gave insight as to the state of services in the county.

For county help with mental health and substance abuse issues, the picture appeared financially dismal. Halsey Simmons, director of mental health, and Andy Williamson, director of substance abuse treatment, blamed lack of funding for their inability to help a wider swath of the population. Simmons said that mental heath cases were assigned based on acuity but also admitted there is no field outreach for the homeless afflicted with mental illness.

Williamson said few seniors come through his doors. But he doesn’t want to encourage too many more, either.

“We don’t want to drum up a lot of business because we just don’t have (the funds),” he said.

Peggy Pellon, a program coordinator for the Area Agency on Aging, said she understands the lack of funding.

“It is difficult. That’s why we’re all coming together today,” she said, making reference to the forum during a break. “We have to look beyond what the county can provide. I don’t know if we should expect the county to be the primary go-to. It needs to be a collaborative effort among all providers in the county.”

A variety of paper and pamphlet information about additional resources for seniors was available for providers during the workshop.

Three county transportation systems – SolTrans, Fairfield and Suisun Transit and City Coach – also presented. Vacaville’s City Coach is the only one with permanent services and programs in place for the homeless, with its Opportunity House partnership.

Elvie DeLeon, the executive director of the Global Center for Success in Vallejo, said she would like to see that partnership duplicated between SolTrans and Vallejo homeless shelters. Currently she can get bus passes as needed for her homeless clientele, but would like to see a formalized partnership, she said, after the forum.

Philip Kamhi of SolTrans, like others, cited lack of funds and recent service cuts with the transportation system that largely serves Vallejo and Benicia.

Audience member Robert Fuentes, the executive director for the nonprofit Faith in Action, said the No. 1 request his organization gets is for transportation. He said they get requests from homeless seniors. The ability to transport depends upon volunteer drivers.

His group can only say yes if there is a volunteer in that area, he said.

While Community Action Partnership figures show an increase of 29 permanent housing beds last year, plus several other projects to help the homeless, Davis said the figures also indicate that “it’s time to add a priority to address our senior population.”

Permanent housing is a stumbling block for Armet, who brings in Social Security and Medi-Cal, but can’t come up with deposits, doesn’t qualify income-wise for most rentals and doesn’t want to give up her dog. Raymond Courtemanche, the senior program officer at Mission Solano, has been encouraging Armet to move to the Bridge of Life Center in order to stabilize her medical condition. He offered to foster Precious until she found a place to live.

“It’s going to take time to navigate and find an appropriate place to stay,” he said. “That’s why she’s living in this uninhabitable environment. It’s an inhumane living situation.”

Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or swinlow@dailyrepublic.net. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • TaliaFebruary 27, 2013 - 9:21 am

    Where is their homeless camp located? My family and I go and pass out meals to the homeless monthly.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • evaFebruary 27, 2013 - 10:07 am

    bridge to life is a joke they dont know what their doing and are so unorganized!!!!i was there for a month with my daughter while my 14 year old son was with family. family wasnt able to care for him any longer and i asked if my son could stay with me at the bridge they said they had no room wich was a lie so i was forced to move my children to mission solano wich is full of drug addicts and felons, not an environment for children, they were no help they pick and choose who they want to help and its not fair!!!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • LisaApril 22, 2013 - 11:14 pm

    Susan, Patricia is my cousin, whom we lost touch with nearly 35 years ago, due to a life-long addiction to drugs and alcohol. She has recently made contact with her sister who lives near San Antonio, TX and she has accepted her sister's offer to move to TX, along with her dog, Precious. If anyone reading this article can point us in the direction of organizations that would be willing to assist with transportation of both Patty and Precious, we would be forever grateful. Most airlines have breed restrictions and won't allow transport of Precious, a pitbull who was tossed out on the street as a puppy due to a birth defect to her front leg/paw. Thank you for writing this article. It means so much to her family who has been searching for her for many, many years.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Supervisor candidates file conflict-of-interest forms

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Vacaville set to usher in new chapter for Police Department

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Solano Jews gather for start of Passover

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Suisun council debates train depot renovation

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
 
Trial begins for teacher accused of abusing children

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

Suisun police ID shooting victim

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
County discusses consolidated dispatch

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

Miner Slough Bridge to see repairs

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Easter hunt set for Mare Island

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
‘Heaven is for Real’ opens Wednesday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B5

 
 
Fiesta Days pageant organizers seek contestants

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

Coakley joins Solano fair board

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

 
Crews make quick work of vehicle fire

By Glen Faison | From Page: A6, 6 Comments | Gallery

 
Paper Clover Campaign supports Solano County 4-H

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

 
Hundreds flock to Krispy Kreme as it opens doors

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
County to honor Solano educators

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A14

.

US / World

Officials: Huge San Francisco blaze was accidental

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
‘Shrimp Boy’ pleads not guilty in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Solemn tributes mark Boston Marathon bombing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Immigration activists urge Obama to act boldly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

First women move into Army platoon artillery jobs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Final deadline arrives for health exchange sign-up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

New LA newspaper embraces print in digital world

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Congress is giving states the transportation blues

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Police: Suspects in killings wore GPS devices

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

 
DNA alternative to Pap smear sparks medical debate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Robot sub returns to water after 1st try cut short

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Supremacist faces murder charges in Kansas deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Ukraine: Military secures airport from attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Democrats have outside money advantage – for now

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Hamas praises deadly West Bank shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
2 dead after ferry sinks off SKorean coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

.

Opinion

Oh, for the days of Dr. Welby

By Dan K. Thomasson | From Page: A13, 11 Comments

 
Poor Judgement in Flight 370 column

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13

 
Senseless babble that hurts

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13

Expand Red Top Road

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13

 
Editorial cartoons for April 16, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A13

State Senate must do more to restore trust

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A13

 
.

Living

Today in History for April 16, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

What love gives you

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

 
Saving carrots from their usual sugary Easter fate

By Sara Moulton | From Page: B6

Sweet pairings for grown-up Easter treats

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
A matzo ball soup fit for a weeknight dinner

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

My husband still pays his 45-year-old unemployed son’s bills

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes for April 16, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

Boston Globe wins Pulitzer for bombing coverage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Lindsay Lohan’s mom pleads guilty to DWI in NY

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Strahan’s ‘GMA’ side job confirmed with his visit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Cal hires Tennessee’s Cuonzo Martin as coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors trying to move on without Andrew Bogut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Sharks’ Torres uncertain for playoff opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Indians shut out Mustangs

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Ex-Minnesota State, Mankato coach returning to job

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Panthers jump Sabres to win NHL draft lottery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

More former players sue NHL regarding concussions

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers sign WR Brandon Lloyd to 1-year deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

MLB marks 67th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

Twitter buys data analytics partner Gnip

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Yellen signals more aggressive stance toward banks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

.

Obituaries

Carolyn McClelland

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Evonne Medina

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7