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Calgary shelter for seniors feels housing crisis pressure

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Calgary shelter for seniors feels housing crisis pressure
A Calgary senior is sharing her story after being the victim of elder abuse. As Tracy Nagai reports, the 67-year-old said after moving into a shelter for seniors, she had to wait eight-and-a-half months until she could finally find an affordable place to live – Jun 12, 2024

A shelter for seniors in Calgary’s core said it’s feeling the pressure of the ongoing housing crisis.

“The lack of housing for older adults, for seniors in particular, is definitely a pressure point for us, as well as a lot of the agencies we work with,” said Larry Mathieson with Unison at Kerby Centre.

The shelter recently increased its capacity, moving from nine beds up to 14, but Mathieson said people are staying longer than ever before, unable to find an affordable place to live.

“We used to have a criterion that you had to move to a long-term placement in 90 days. And with the housing situation recently, that’s very challenging, that is a pressure point for us.”

A 67-year-old woman whose identity Global News is protecting has been at the shelter for more than eight months after fleeing an abusive situation which spanned almost two decades. While she has finally found a place to live, she’s worried about those who find themselves in a similar spot.

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“The longer we’re [at the shelter], the longer somebody else has to be in a situation they don’t want to be in or they don’t know how to get out of because they don’t have a place to go.”

According to the province, one in 10 Alberta seniors may be the victim of elder abuse, which includes physical, financial and emotional abuse.

June 15 marks World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

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