senior housing

Advocating for Our Seniors: Addressing the Growing Challenge of Aging and Homelessness

By Carol M. Sainthilaire, Executive Director of The Waterfront Project, Inc.

At The Waterfront Project, our commitment to the senior community is driven by a pressing need to address their vulnerabilities, especially concerning housing and legal assistance. Recent discussions, such as those highlighted by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, underscore the increasing risk of homelessness among older Americans, exacerbated by economic instability and health disparities. This challenge is particularly poignant in New Jersey, where we have seen firsthand the struggles faced by aging populations in maintaining secure and stable housing.

In the first quarter of 2024 alone, The Waterfront Project intervened in several critical cases where senior citizens faced unjust evictions and legal discrepancies that threatened their homes. Our legal teams provided emergency interventions and comprehensive legal aid, ensuring that seniors like a veteran of the United States Army and a long-time resident of a local community retained their homes against unlawful eviction attempts. These success stories are a testament to the effectiveness of dedicated legal advocacy and the profound impact it can have on the lives of our elderly citizens.

Furthermore, data from the “2021 Profile of Older Americans” provides a broader context, highlighting that seniors face increasing economic challenges, with a significant number living below the poverty line. This economic vulnerability is compounded by health issues and a lack of affordable housing options, which are critical factors contributing to the risk of homelessness.

The Waterfront Project is steadfast in its mission to advocate for and protect our older residents through legal services, community education, and policy advocacy. By addressing the systemic issues that lead to senior homelessness and providing direct interventions, we aim to ensure that our elders receive the respect and security they deserve in their later years.

Gratitude to Our Supporters
As The Waterfront Project continues its dedicated service to the senior community, we extend our deepest gratitude to our esteemed supporters who make our work possible. We sincerely thank the IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey, The Taub Foundation, and The County of Hudson for their generous financial support. Their commitment enables us to provide crucial legal services and advocacy, ensuring that our elders live with the dignity and security they deserve. This collaboration not only strengthens our ability to serve but also enhances our collective impact on the community. Together, we are making significant strides toward a future where no senior has to face the threat of homelessness alone.

By supporting The Waterfront Project, these organizations are pivotal in upholding the rights and well-being of older adults across New Jersey. Their contributions are deeply appreciated by our team, our clients, and the community we serve. We look forward to continuing this partnership and achieving even greater successes in the future.

Your Support is Valuable
Join us in supporting our mission to provide a safety net for our senior community. Together, we can fight to end homelessness and ensure that every senior has a place to call home. For more insights into the challenges faced by older Americans and how you can help, please visit the National Alliance to End Homelessness and learn about the critical work being done to address these issues.

Your support can make a difference. It’s not just about providing a home; it’s about securing a right—the right to a safe, stable, and dignified life for all our seniors.