We in the US are seeing more people become displaced from their residences and becoming homeless. However, the US doesn’t appear to be the only country seeing this trend. A 66-year-old grandma from England shared her now-viral story on TikTok, disclosing she’s currently living out of her van. Due to, the landlord raising the rent, and her housing benefits no longer covering the expenses.
From Home to Homeless
Ramsgate, a seaside town in England has been a tranquil home to many for thousands of years. The first settlers are estimated to have arrived from Rome and Belgium in the first 100 years BC. Despite its intricate history, the town, like many other places, is facing a cost of living crisis. One such resident, 66-year-old Lyn Pearman is now living in her van, otherwise homeless, after her landlord raised her rent.
Her $530 rent was covered by her monthly pension and a housing benefit. However, when rent increased to almost $900 a month, she could no longer afford it. She was then served with an eviction notice. Lyn began to sell many of her personal belongings and becoming homeless, converted her van into a temporary living space. Next, she shared her story on TikTok. Now, with followers worldwide, around 40,000 at the time of publication, her videos have more than a million views.
Lyn feels that homelessness for those who rely on their pension may become more prominent. Her reasoning has to do with vacation rentals and lax rent control laws. These laws are designed to protect tenants whose monthly income never changes. This is done by limiting how often a landlord or property owner can increase monthly rent. Additionally, vacation rentals impact the homeless population because there will be fewer residential properties available to rent.
@offtotravel #vanlife #lesbian #retired #motorhome #camper #sea #beach #single #livingthelife #homeless #thisisme ♬ original sound – freespirit
Working to Help Communities
Despite the current crisis, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities is working to ensure homes will be available. The branch of government has been appointed to focus on growth in jobs, homes, and resources for UK citizens. A spokesperson for the department commented, explaining, “We remain absolutely committed to delivering a fairer deal for renters. We will bring forward a Renters Reform Bill in this Parliament, abolishing ‘no fault evictions’ so that all tenants have greater security in their homes and are empowered to challenge poor conditions and unreasonable rent rises.“
The spokesperson continued, “Increasing the number of genuinely affordable homes is central to our levelling up mission and we’re investing £11.5 billion (nearly 14 1/2 billion USD) to build more of the affordable, quality homes this country needs.”
International Homeless Crisis
In the US there are currently an estimated, half a million homeless residents, on any given day or night. However, studies have shown the rise in the homeless population began before the Pandemic and that inflation has had only a small effect on the whole picture. According to a New York Times article published last summer, a major factor in the increased homeless population, relates to supply and demand. The article explains that having access to housing plays a major role in the current crisis.
Further noting that there is a correlation between higher rates of mental health issues or poverty, and higher rates of homelessness in certain states. Another study made a correlation to the increase of the homeless population, where there is also an increase of substance abuse or addiction. At the height of the pandemic, an estimated 30-40 million people were facing the threat of becoming homeless. Unfortunately, because there are several factors that each play a role in our current crisis, Economists today face a new challenge.
The challenge to understand the correlation between all these factors, and successfully evaluate how to overcome them. Lyn Pearman’s generation relies on compensation for the work they did when they were younger, otherwise known as retirement, 401K, or pension. Moreover, many don’t have the physical or mental capacity to go back to work full-time. This means that for elderly adults, the homeless rates will likely continue to rise. In fact, a report estimated that the elderly community would increase in homelessness by almost 3 times in the next decade.
Resources for the Homeless
Luckily, there are some available resources for those who are currently homeless and looking to better their circumstances, in the US. Several shelters exist including those for retired veterans, the homeless, or women and children who are victims of domestic violence. Some also address care for at-risk youth or runaways.
Resources for the elderly homeless population include emergency housing, crisis support, and rental assistance for those who qualify. Although some resources to have eligibility requirements, others do not and can be used by any US citizen in crisis, regardless of age, income, gender, or ethnicity.
Due to the uncertainty regarding the pandemic, inflation, mental health issues, and availability of homes, we’re all facing an unstable future. Learning to adapt will likely take a range of skills including patience, positivity, and loving compassion for those around us. Many people look down on those who are homeless. Often associating them with sadness, addiction, lack of morals and values, failure to contribute to society, and so on.
Although some of these labels are true and fair, the increase of the elderly homeless will likely give young Americans a reason to reevaluate the stereotypes associated with the homeless population. Furthermore, holding off their judgments and come together to find a solution for a more stable economy. Ensuring that our elders who raised and cared for us, can relax and enjoy the time they have left.
Keep Reading: Dad Desperately Searches for Daughter for 2 Years, Finds Her in a Homeless Shelter