There is something wrong with society and our system when a woman such as Darlene Conley has only $18 a month left after paying her rent (see story, page A3).
Each month, she receives $234 from a pension and $384 from social assistance.
Eighteen dollars is not enough to buy groceries for a week, let alone a month. And it certainly isn’t enough to pay bills such as hydro or telephone.
And apparently Conley, a 62-year-old senior who also has to care for her dog, is like many seniors, homeless outreach worker Wayne Lucier tells us, as homelessness among seniors is on the rise.
And while there are great facilities and supports in Williams Lake, there is simply not enough of them.
Seniors advocate Audrey MacLise has been consistent in her message in the past — we need more affordable housing for seniors.
MacLise has said many times that expanding housing and health options for seniors is needed, and that the issues of inadequate income needs to be addressed.
We completely agree.
Many independent living and subsidized housing in Williams Lake have a long wait list, and the seniors population is growing.
Last year, the first baby boomers entered their senior years at 65.
By 2033, an estimated 8,000 people between the ages of 50 and 74 and 3,000 seniors over 75 will be in our community. More affordable housing is needed in our community and the Canada Pension Plan needs to be expanded, so people like Darlene Conley can have a safe place to sleep and food to eat.