Report: By 2020, more senior citizens to be homeless

Wichita EagleMarch 30, 2010 

At 57, things are looking up for Richard Rittle, at least for the moment.

He's collecting veterans' benefits and, after a year and half of being in and out of homelessness, he plans to move into a $300-a-month apartment Thursday.

But, he said, for people his age who don't receive veterans benefits, it's more difficult.

"People that don't have any income are at the mercy of what's out there," he said.

Many more elderly Americans could face that uncertainty in coming years.

A report released Monday by the National Alliance to End Homelessness projects a 33 percent increase over the next decade in elderly people who are homeless.

That would mean that today's estimate of 44,172 homeless over age 62 would climb to 58,772.

Officials last year counted only nine homeless people over age 65 in Sedgwick County. But 39 people ages 55 to 64 reported being homeless, hinting at the potential for an increase.

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