Naples Daily News Editorial: Take Care of Seniors

Naples Daily News Editorial: Take Care of Seniors

Take care of seniors

Kudos to the Naples Daily News for placing the concern about affordable housing on the front page. Kudos as well to the Collier County commissioners for looking at this important issue.

I have the privilege of serving on the Stakeholders Committee and know from my participation that the Urban Land Institute (ULI) will be working diligently during the week they are here to fact-find and present their findings.

As the president/chief executive officer of Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS) of Southwest Florida I, too, have had great candidates turn down job offers because they could not afford to live within a reasonable distance of our nonprofit agency.

Workforce housing is vitally important. However, in my role as president/CEO of JFCS, an organization serving 2,000 seniors a year through a wide range of programs, I am acutely aware of the need for affordable housing for seniors.

Goodlette Arms is the only housing complex in our area for low-income seniors and unfortunately there is a four-year wait to get in.

At least once a week our professional geriatric case managers receive calls from seniors who are struggling to keep roofs over their heads. The JFCS has worked with 21 senior women because they were homeless or about to be evicted.

With support from the Community Foundation of Collier County and generous donors, we have been able to help these women find housing, some of it outside of Collier County, and at times a room in someone’s home. I urge those in the important role of decision-making not to forget our seniors. They took care of us for many years. Now it is our turn to take care of them.

(Originally published on the Naples Daily News website 1/20/17)