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Wave of seniors descend on Phoenix homeless shelter

(Facebook/Central Arizona Shelter Services)

PHOENIX — At a time when seniors should be preparing for their golden years, some are getting caught up in what is described as a “silver tsunami”: A time of high rents, high healthcare costs and no place to live.

Lisa Glow, the executive director at the Central Arizona Shelter Services, also known as CASS, said they have seen what’s happening to aging baby boomers who are just trying to survive.

“If you came in the afternoon when people were coming into the shelter, you’re going to see wheelchairs, walkers and a sea of gray hair,” she said. “It’s shocking.”

Glow said 1,200 people — many over the age of 55, many in their 60s and 70s — stayed at CASS last year, about 31 percent more over the year prior.

Glow said one answer to helping the aging homeless population is adding more shelter space.

“We provide temporary emergency shelter right now. When we get people off the streets, we can help them resolve their homelessness,” Glow said.

For the time being, CASS said it can use cash donations, donations of clothing. But for the long term, it needs the community to raise its voice for affordable housing.

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