Ella has always worked hard to care for her family. As a young girl, she helped raise her six younger siblings. At age 26, she became the sole provider for her three children, sometimes working two jobs just to make ends meet. A lifetime of caregiving responsibilities made it impossible for Ella to save enough for retirement.
“You have to be very prudent, watch what you do, and pray.” Ella
Vicky ran a business with her husband until he decided to leave. She lost her partner, her business, her livelihood, and her home. A medical condition left her unable to work, and she ended up living in her car. She had no income, and no help until she was old enough to qualify for Medicare and Social Security.
“If my Social Security gets cut then I’ll become homeless again.” Vicky
In middle age, Barbara worked steadily as a nursing assistant at San Francisco General Hospital. Even so, Barbara couldn’t find an affordable place to live and became homeless in her fifties. For 20 years, she has lived at a low-income and homeless housing project where she enjoys cooking for and helping others out when she can.
“I had a job but I couldn’t get a place.” Barbara
Vernorica currently works three jobs: bartending, catering, and clerking at a Salvation Army store. Vernorica was a single mother to three children and struggled as their primary provider. Money was short and she got into debt from a predatory payday loan that she is still working to pay off. she works on her feet all day, despite being 70 years old, because it’s the only way she can pay her bills and stay in her home.
“I’ll never be able to afford to stop working.” Vernorica
Older women shouldn’t have to struggle to survive. Justice in Aging is there to protect the programs they rely on, file impact litigation that returns millions of dollars in benefits to seniors in need, advocate at the local, state, and national levels for better policies for all low-income older Americans, and train thousands of advocates across the country for free every year. But we can’t do it without you. Join us!