Doing Something Good with National Volunteer Month
Every day, 10,000 people in the United States turn 65, a trend that’s expected to continue until 2030. As more and more Americans cross into retirement age, economic security for older adults is becoming precarious. A look at California, our country’s most populous state, demonstrates the importance of this issue.
Less than half of older Californians have retirement income such as pensions, 401(k), or Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) in addition to Social Security benefits. 28% of this population is estimated to have incomes below the amount an older adult would require to meet basic needs such as food, health care, rent, transportation, utilities. Meanwhile, the need for affordable and accessible housing continues to grow; 26% of seniors spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs.
As a result of economic conditions a growing number of seniors are looking to share housing. Most of these seniors are less likely to be married and have insufficient funds to comfortably retire. Under those circumstances, sharing the high cost of rent is at least a temporary solution to homelessness. According to an August 2018 article in the Wall Street Journal, about 16% of people 50 and older said they live in a shared household, up from 2% four years ago.
Ways to help
The I Did Something Good Today Foundation (IDSGT) is fighting the growing housing and financial issues that are burdening seniors. IDSGT provides permanent supportive housing and intensive case management services to seniors, and advocates for this chronically underserved population.
By working together with developers, other agencies, and volunteers, IDSGT ensures that this generation of seniors—and the ones after it—has the economic and social protections to stave off homelessness and social isolation. No senior should have to spend his or her final years worrying about being or becoming homeless. Since April is National Volunteer Month, consider IDSGT as an option when thinking about ways you can contribute to your community.