NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. — With rent skyrocketing, the number of homeless seniors in our community is growing. Contact 5 spoke with one woman in North Palm Beach who is being evicted and has nowhere to go.
“My family has left me. I have zero funds,” 79-year-old Roni Diener told Contact 5. “Life can sure change real quick.”
Diener’s North Palm Beach apartment is all packed up.
“I don’t know where to go,” she said.
Diener got her first eviction letter in April and a second one came last week.
Her rent is now $1,500 after a $200 increase. Her savings are drained and her only income is a monthly $900 Social Security check, which isn’t enough for one month’s rent.
“I have no money to go anywhere and a family that kind of just disposed of me,” Diener said. “Getting old isn’t easy.”
Diener was once a small business owner. She showed Contact 5 old advertisements in several magazines from the 1980s featuring her clothing boutique in Fort Lauderdale.
“I worked all my life. The fact that nobody even cares if I’m dead or alive,” Diener said.
With inflation at a 40-year-high and affordable housing nearly impossible to find in South Florida right now, many seniors are facing this same situation.
“It doesn’t discriminate among age or however long you’ve lived there. It really doesn’t matter,” Maura Plante, the founder and CEO of Living Hungry, said. “It’s about the holy dollar and making their profits.”
Diener told Contact 5 that she knows she’s not alone because she’s talked with other seniors who are in the same boat.
“I asked this girl, ‘How do you wind up living in your car?’ And she said, ‘I just lost everything,'” Diener said.