WICHITA, Kan. (AP) The number of elderly homeless people in Wichita continues to climb as the economy sends them to local shelters seeking refuge.
Sandy Swank of Inter-Faith Ministries says the organization’s winter shelter has served 13 people over the age of 62 so far this year after helping only five in 2012. In many cases a spouse has died and left a mountain of debt that overwhelmed the survivor.
Swank told The Wichita Eagle that when she started working at Inter-Faith since late 1990, elderly people occasionally came to the shelter but almost always had someone to look after them.
A 2010 study by the Homeless Research Institute projected the number of elderly people who are homeless will increase by one-third nationally, from 44,172 in 2010 to 58,772 by 2020.