(NBC News Channel) — With rent skyrocketing and inflation at 40-year high, the number of seniors becoming homeless is on the rise in South Florida.
WPTV’s Jessica Bruno spoke with one woman in North Palm Beach who is being evicted from her home and has nowhere to go.
“Well my family has left me. I have zero funds,” Roni Diener said. “Life can sure change real quick.”
Everything Diener owns is packed up, but she says she has nowhere to go.
She received her first eviction letter in April. Another came last week. Her rent is now $1,500 after a $200 increase. Her savings are drained and her only income is a montly $900 social security check, not even enough for one month’s rent.
“I haven’t been able to move because I have no place to go. I have no money to go anywhere and a family that kind of just disposed of me,” she said. “Getting old isn’t easy.”
Diener was once a small business owner. She showed Bruno old ads from the 80s that feature her clothing boutique in Fort Lauderdale.
“And I worked all my life… the fact that nobody even cares if I’m dead or alive,” she said. “I’m not usually that emotional.”
Maura Plant with Living Hungry says senior becoming homeless is a growing crisis in the community.
“It doesn’t discriminate among age or however long you’ve lived there. It really doesn’t matter. It’s about the holy dollar and making their profits.”
Diener says she has talked to other seniors in the same boat.
“I asked this girl, how do you wind up living in your car? And she said I just lost everything.”
She said her landlord agreed to let her stay for a while without paying rent. She is grateful for that, but is trying to figure out her next move.
“It’s like the elderly have become disposable,” she said.