Homeless Arizona Seniors Facing Effects Of Federal Shutdown

Published: Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 7:26am
Updated: Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 3:35pm

The government shutdown has entered its fourth week and as KJZZ has already reported, many Arizonans are feeling its effect. Another group that could be harmed if the shutdown continues is senior citizens.

Homeless seniors already face many hurdles. They’re often victimized on the streets because they're older and much more vulnerable, and this shutdown is exacerbating many of their fears. Wendy Johnson is the executive director at Justa Center, a day program for people 55 and older.

"The calls and visits we’re getting right now are concerns over immediate items, such as they were anticipating a Social Security increase of 2.8 percent and now they’re fearful they won’t get any Social Security checks during this shutdown, which would then adversely affect their housing status if they’re in housing and food and other medicine, everything that is life sustaining for them," Johnson said.

The City of Phoenix’s Housing Director told KJZZ that they have not seen any significant effects yet and HUD has informed them that they have enough funds to ensure February is covered. After that, she said there is no more money.

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