Throughout the diverse sections of Brooklyn, rising rent and new properties are consistently pushing older residents away from neighborhoods that they call home. When a senior citizens is faced with losing their home because they can no longer afford the rent, they are often forced to enter senior living facilities or move to unfamiliar places. According to a recent article, senior residents in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn are utilizing another option: a matchmaking program that helps seniors find available rooms.
The state and city-funded program, aptly called Home Sharing, matches senior citizens with comparable persons of any age in shared spaces around the city. While it’s available in all of New York’s boroughs, it has proved especially useful for the senior residents in the fast-changing Brooklyn areas.
“Housing is an issue in the neighborhood, especially for seniors. A lot of seniors lost their homes to foreclosures, and a lot don’t rent out rooms because of fear,” explained Stefani Zinerman Chief of Staff for City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr.
While the average Brooklyn renter can peruse craigslist or other popular websites to find a suitable living situation, many of these senior citizens require an environment that adheres to their lifestyle. Through the Home Sharing program, these seniors have a team of social work professionals at their disposal as they craft an ideal living scenario that meets their needs.
The program works through the non-profit New York State Foundation for Senior Citizens (NYSFSC) which helps to links prospective adult “hosts”, who have a private bedroom available within their homes with an ideal guest who can help contribute. With confidential screening and staff who take a comprehensive look at each member’s lifestyle, this program is giving seniors the power to live on their own terms.