‘It’s heartbreaking’: Many more B.C. seniors asking for help to avoid homelessness


Jenny Konkin (left), founder of Whole Way House, an organization that supports vulnerable seniors, with Réal Bergeron (right), at Veterans Manor.

Seventy-one-year-old Réal Bergeron worked his whole life, starting as a soldier with the Canadian Army, then as a diamond driller in mines and, for 20 years before his retirement, as a steelworker in a foundry.

But he faced some struggles, including being forced to sell his leaky condo because of skyrocketing strata fees. As he grew older, his financial difficulties worsened. In recent years, the only affordable accommodation the pensioner could find was in Downtown Eastside shelters, including one with just a mat on the floor and a nightly curfew.

It wasn’t where he thought he’d spend his retirement years.

“It was disappointing, all right,” said Bergeron, a friendly man who is reluctant to complain. “For a guy like myself, I’m a widower, they should have more (affordable) housing.”

He is not alone. Report after report, homeless count after homeless count has warned that people older than 55 are the fastest-growing homeless demographic in Metro …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun – Politics

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