A growing number of seniors are becoming homeless during this pandemic.
Recent data compiled by the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust says one in four people experiencing homelessness in the county is over age 55.
Miriam Fajardo is 71 years old. Before the pandemic hit and right after, she was working as a live-in caregiver for an elderly man, but he died after getting the virus.
That job was how she kept a roof over her head and money in her pocket.
"Once he died, I had to leave the house. I was left with absolutely nothing,” she said.
With no family or support system, the woman had no choice but to sleep in the park. She was new to homelessness and she didn’t know what to do. Her situation quickly took a toll on her health.
“It gave me a pain in my chest and my back and I went to the hospital," she said.
At Mount Sinai hospital, she confided in the nurses and staff. They were able to connect her with homeless services, and the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust quickly stepped in.
Chairman Ron Book says so many other seniors are in the same position and the resources are running out.
The homeless trust is trying to buy a building to accommodate the growing number of seniors becoming homeless during the pandemic, but funds are an issue. The trust has started an “ending homelessness fund” in an effort to respond to the growing housing emergency facing seniors.
Donations will be matched by The Miami Foundation can be made at https://give.miamifoundation.org/homelesstrust