Monday, May 4, 2015
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 |

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 [email protected] 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

New Torah being written for Solano County Jews

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Napa Valley College site of Girls on the Run event

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Putah Creek Council plans bat outing

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Vacaville Museum celebrates historic pioneer girl

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

 
Chambers of commerce plan Cinco de Mayo event

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Tickets available for Dixon May Fair, sneak peek

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Local governments set to meet

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Fairfield police log: May 2, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: May 2, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: May 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Fairfield police log: May 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Biz Buzz: First Northern Bank announces earnings

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A10

 
Weather for Monday, May 4, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

Biz Buzz: Sleep Train continues clothing drive

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Biz Buzz: Solano College site of business expo

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A10

 
.

US / World

Google embeds engineers as professors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Oyez! Town crier at royal baby birth captures attention

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Quakes hit California, but no damage or injuries reported

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
With rescue near, Boko Haram stoned Nigerian girls to death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Survey: States spent heavily to clear winter snow and ice

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
 
Slain trooper’s parents say they forgive suspected ambusher

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Baltimore mayor lifts curfew 6 days after riots

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Italy: At least 10 migrants found dead in sea off Libya

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Arab coalition ‘reconnaissance’ troops land in Yemen

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Nepal shuts airport to big jets; more bodies found

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
.

Living

Catholics honor mother of church with special event

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Today in history: Monday, May 4, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

Community Calendar: May 4, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Returning home puts far-flung choices in relief

By Sharon Randall | From Page: B5

Horoscope: May 4, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
Family member has still not paid for commissioned artwork

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

.

Entertainment

Ashes of ballerina Plisetskaya to be spread over Russia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
New project in US South promotes music “triangle”

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

‘Avengers’ sequel is second biggest US opener of all time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wanted by the US, Roman Polanski gets film award in Poland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

.

Sports

JC softball: Solano eliminated after late rally comes up short

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
AP Source: Warriors star Stephen Curry to be named NBA MVP

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Dale Earnhardt Jr. cruises to 1st Talladega win since 2004

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

McIlroy top of the world at Match Play Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Warriors roll past Grizzlies 101-86 in Game 1 of West semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Unusually wild Gray, Vogt HRs carry A’s past Rangers 7-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Texas the front line on high school ECG debate

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Giants beat Angels 5-0 behind Lincecum for 3-game sweep

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Mayweather takes his $100 million check and runs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Vonn says relationship with Woods is over

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
5-year drought ends as Chelsea is champion of England again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Montoya fastest on opening day of Indy tests

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
LeBron, Cavs ready to take on raging Bulls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Paul questionable as Clippers and Rockets begin series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
James Taylor debuts new song about Fenway, at Fenway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Westbrook, Valiante win IMSA Tudor race at Monterey

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Inbee Park wins North Texas Shootout for 2nd time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Ian Woosnam wins Champions Tour’s Insperity Invitational

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Royals’ Lorenzo Cain drops appeal, begins serving suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

This date in sports history for May 4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Beal leads well-rested Wizards past Hawks 104-98 in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
.

Business

 
.

Obituaries

Arthur Martin

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Ora May Bray

By Daily Republic | From Page: A4

Lois G. Johnston (Leib) (Bayard)

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Wizard of Id May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C. May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Word Sleuth May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Zits May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C. May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baldo May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baby Blues May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Pickles May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Rose is Rose May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Bridge May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote May 4

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7