She supplements the food she gets from the food bank by growing vegetables and herbs in the small garden behind her apartment building. To ensure she has money to buy her medications, she combines her harvest with soup bones to make nourishing soups that keep her healthy.


Ortencia loves her neighbors, many of whom are also seniors. She checks in on them regularly and shares the vegetables from her garden with them.


She takes two buses to St. Mary’s Senior Center daily for lunch and to see her many friends. She’s been going there for 20 years.


Ortencia believes in advocating for herself and others in need. She is part of a senior advocacy group that makes special trips to the state capital to fight for justice for all.

Justice in Aging Fights for Ortencia

At this very moment, politicians in Washington DC are working to cut the programs that help Ortencia and millions of other poor seniors stay safely in their homes. Everything Ortencia relies on—her Social Security and SSI income, health care, transportation, affordable rent, nutrition assistance, and other supports—are all under threat.

We need you with us in this fight.

The need is growing. The threats are constant. And we need your help. The time is now. Watch this video to hear Ortencia and other seniors describe in their own words how hard it is to get by as a poor older adult.

Join us today in the fight for Justice in Aging for all the mothers, friends, teachers, neighbors, and gardeners in our lives and in our communities.

Ortencia is a fighter. She is a lot of things actually. She is a former kindergarten teacher, a widow, a mother, a friend, a neighbor. And she is definitely a fighter.

Ortencia is 86 years old and lives on less than $1,000 a month. She relies on a system of supports and her community in order to stay safely in her home. And her community relies on her. But as a low-income senior, everything hangs in the balance.


Ortencia was raised in the San Joaquin Valley by her immigrant parents.  She worked for many years as a kindergarten teacher, helping children grow and thrive.


As a working mother, she raised a son who values family and community. Her highlight of the week is the time she gets to spend with him.

A gift today to Justice in Aging means that you stand with Ortencia and millions of other low-income seniors fighting for their lives.