Funding will support a collaboration between Serving Seniors and the San Diego Housing Commission to keep seniors housed and help them secure employment
SAN DIEGO, CA – September 29, 2023: The Lucky Duck Foundation today announced a $500,000 investment to launch a new program called “Seniors Safe at Home” to quickly stabilize housing for seniors who are at risk of homelessness. The LDF program will be implemented by the San Diego Housing Commission and Serving Seniors and includes employment navigation to help seniors secure job opportunities to prevent homelessness from occurring.
“Homelessness among individuals 55 or older is tragically the largest and fastest growing segment of people living unsheltered in San Diego and nationwide. Preventing unsheltered homelessness before it begins is critical for a myriad of reasons,” said Drew Moser, Executive Director of the Lucky Duck Foundation. “This program is designed to keep seniors housed while also helping them connect to meaningful employment opportunities to ensure their housing is never at risk.”
Per the latest point in time count, seniors over the age of 55 account for 29% of San Diego County’s unsheltered homeless population, with 46% falling into homelessness for the first time. The program will target seniors experiencing a housing crisis, such as facing eviction, or situations where fixed incomes simply cannot keep up with sharp rises in inflation and housing costs. An investment as little as $250 per month, or $3,000 per year, can keep a senior safely housed, compared to an average cost of $35,000 per unsheltered person per year due to greater emergency room use, more frequent inpatient admissions, longer hospital stays, and many other reasons.
“Shallow rental subsidies prevent homelessness for seniors on the precipice of becoming unhoused,” said Paul Downey, Serving Seniors President/CEO. “The subsidies provided by this generous investment, combined with case management and employment navigation provided by Serving Seniors, will have the dual benefit of preventing human trauma and being a cost-effective use of resources.”
The San Diego Housing Commission will process applications and provide anywhere from $250 to $750 per month in assistance depending on a senior’s household income.
“Seniors need and deserve the safety and security of a stable home. Tragically, more and more seniors are falling into homelessness for economic reasons. We – government, nonprofits, and private citizens – must do all we can to prevent this. I thank the Lucky Duck Foundation for stepping up with this meaningful support,” said Council President Sean Elo-Rivera. “This vital contribution is a great example of how every member of our community can make an impact in preventing homelessness and help solve this crisis.”
“Keeping seniors from becoming unhoused spares them from the physical and emotional trauma of being on the streets,” said San Diego County Supervisor Nora Vargas. “As the number of older adults increases, it is critical that government and community partners prioritize and take care of the generation that took care of us.”
“Most seniors in San Diego are living on fixed or limited incomes that do not keep pace with the rising cost of housing in San Diego, which puts them at risk of being homeless. This important program is a lifeline that can help them remain housed,” said SDHC Chair of the Board Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell. “The collaboration among the Lucky Duck Foundation, Serving Seniors and the San Diego Housing Commission, with support from the City of San Diego, is a tremendous example of how working together can achieve meaningful solutions.”
The public is encouraged to visit https://luckyduckfoundation.org/SeniorsSafeAtHome to learn more and donate. A $250 donation can help keep a senior housed for an additional month to ensure they do not end up on the streets.
ABOUT THE LUCKY DUCK FOUNDATION
Since 2005, The Lucky Duck Foundation (LDF) has raised funds and awareness for numerous charitable causes throughout San Diego. In 2017, due to the growing homelessness epidemic, LDF pivoted to focus on providing aid and relief for individuals and families suffering from homelessness. Since then, LDF and its co-founders, Pat & Stephanie Kilkenny, have funded, activated, and led several high-impact programs that alleviate the suffering of homelessness throughout San Diego County, including bridge shelters, employment and job training, research, permanent supportive housing, outreach, and more. Originally called the AGIA Foundation (Arrowhead General Insurance Agency), the name was changed to the Lucky Duck Foundation to honor the Kilkenny family’s Irish heritage and as a nod to their love of the University of Oregon. The premise is simple: if you have had some good luck and fortune in your life, share your luck with those less fortunate. And, all donations are matched by Pat & Stephanie, up to $1.5 million per year
ABOUT SERVING SENIORS
Founded in 1970, Serving Seniors is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in San Diego, California, dedicated to serving low-income adults aged 60 and over. A leader in senior advocacy and programming, Serving Seniors has created an innovative model of comprehensive services including nutrition meals, housing, health and social services and lifelong learning opportunities to thousands of seniors in need. It is the largest provider of meals to seniors in the county, and one of the only organizations in the nation providing a robust range of services to vulnerable, at-risk older adults.
Serving Seniors President and CEO Paul Downey has been instrumental in the organization’s growth over the past 28 years. Since being appointed the role in 1995, Downey has guided the nonprofit’s innovative efforts to provide supportive services focused on keeping low-income seniors healthy and independent. Under Downey’s leadership, Serving Seniors has grown to provide over one million nutritious meals and coordinated services to 7,000 older adults each year. Read Serving Seniors’ groundbreaking report, Senior Homelessness: A Needs Assessment.
ABOUT THE SAN DIEGO HOUSING COMMISSION
The San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) is an award-winning public housing agency in the City of San Diego that provides innovative housing assistance programs for households with low income or experiencing homelessness. The San Diego City Council, in its role as the Housing Authority of the City of San Diego, oversees SDHC. SDHC helps pay rent for more than 17,000 households with low income annually; is a leader in collaborative efforts to address homelessness, such as the Community Action Plan on Homelessness for the City of San Diego and SDHC’s homelessness initiative, HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, which has created more than 11,000 housing solutions since November 2014 for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness; and creates and preserves affordable rental housing, with more than 23,000 affordable units in service in the City today with SDHC’s participation.
For media inquiries, contact Brian Hayes: Brian@luckyduckfoundation.org / (858) 472-4260.