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Local Nonprofit Helps Feed And House Homeless Senior Citizens

It’s called the Silver Tsunami-senior citizens flocking to homeless shelters in the nation’s most expensive cities, including in Santa Barbara.

The local nonprofit Worth Street Reach says it may have one solution.

“We decided to master lease houses and put seniors in the homes. They can double up in rooms and that gives them an opportunity on their low budgets to be able to afford living in a lovely home and still have some money in their pocket to survive and do the things they love,” executive director Deborah Barnes said.

Barnes rented a six-bedroom, four-bathroom home in Santa Barbara County.

Six former homeless senior citizens live their now, and six more will move in soon.

With the help of Santa Barbara City Colleges students from the group PermAction, Barnes is putting an organic garden in the back yard.

The harvest will help provide up to 45 percent of the seniors’ diet.

The rest of their food is donated.

Barnes said she’d like to rent more homes and get more seniors off the streets.

“We did a survey of the senior citizens living out on the streets, in safe parking and in all the shelters. The survey told us there were 258 people in desperate need of housing,” Barnes said.

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