Striving for Grace and Dignity
As an elderly person, AJ lives with several complications. Hit by a car, he now relies on a wheelchair to get around. At times, he is incoherent and being homeless makes waiting for his retirement benefits a never-ending challenge. What should a person do when life presents such difficulty?Despite his daily conflicts and need for a reliable income, AJ proves that age is just number. He is young-at-heart and tries his best to do it all on his own, but is not too full of pride to stand up and ask for help.
The Larger Picture
When AJ first came to Redemptive Work, he found himself part of an aging homeless population still too young to qualify for government safety nets. Subsidized housing, Medicare coverage, and Social Security benefits were still a year or so out of AJ’s reach.
According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, persons aged 50-64 are a growing percentage within the homeless population. More heartbreaking still are the compounded effects homelessness has on an individual’s health. Elderly homeless persons are recorded to have healthcare needs comparable to housed persons aged 10 to 20 years older.
Today, AJ finally qualifies for some rightly needed benefits, though the application process has its own set of challenges - coordinating reliable transportation, for instance.
Though everyday is a struggle, AJ strives to meet each day with grace and dignity. We at Redemptive Work are here to support him through every baby step and every set back. Your generous gifts enable RM to help AJ and others like him who too often slip through the cracks.
Writers: Kathy Rosenhammer and Diana Payne
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