Silver Horizons’ Mission is to provide critical help to extremely low-income senior citizens, and the family members living with them, with life’s basics: groceries, household bills and home repairs/retrofits. Each month, these three core services assist about 4,000 senior citizens.
Most of the seniors we serve live on $700-$900 a month. Our programs continue to evolve to better meet today’s realities. For example, today we help with more than just utilities. We assist with other important household expenses like rent, landline telephones, Internet service, and veterinary bills for the seniors’ pets.
Keeping a senior in their home is getting more complicated. More and more, we are realizing that this assistance is not just helping seniors, but also the grandchildren so many of these struggling seniors are raising. Almost 39% of the seniors we assist are raising their grandchildren.
THE SENIORS WE HELP
Perhaps our most basic purpose is making sure these households have food to eat. Silver Horizons provides about two-weeks’ worth of groceries (monthly) to 3,500+ impoverished seniors age 50 and older primarily through food pantries and home deliveries of groceries. Silver Horizons also partners with churches, Meals on Wheels Albuquerque, and other organizations to get groceries to those seniors (and their families) who are most in need of help. (We provide groceries to about 1,200 grandchildren.)
Silver Horizons’ “Safe and Surviving at Home” program is entirely focused on:
Helping the lowest-income seniors meet their basic needs
Have access to nutrition
Maintain a decent standard of living
SILVER HORIZONS PROVIDES CRITICAL HELP TO:
Seniors in danger of having utilities shut off
Seniors who otherwise would have to leave their homes because of changing health needs
Seniors who simply do not have enough food to eat
Most of the seniors we serve would say that without Silver Horizons they would not have enough food to eat. Many would say that without Silver Horizons they would have to leave their homes because of changing health needs that make their current home unsafe, or because they simply cannot afford their basic household expenses.
Seniors are skipping meals in order to stretch their groceries. Other seniors are living in unsafe conditions (broken windows, doors that don’t lock, plumbing/water heaters that leak, etc.), while still other seniors find they cannot move around their homes now that they are using walkers or require a wheelchair. Even an uneven floor or set of three steps make a home unsafe or a place they cannot access if their wheelchair cannot fit through a doorway or up a few steps.
Silver Horizons is building wheelchair ramps, installing grab bars, helping with repairs, and providing free groceries — all in an effort to help struggling, low-income seniors survive (and even enjoy a decent standard of living).
To the best of our ability, our goal is to keep seniors, and their families, feeling safe and secure, and in their own homes. Each day, Silver Horizons receives 60-80+ requests for help with important household bills. On several recent occasions, we have received nearly 150 telephone calls in a single day! Important household bills may include:
Firewood and propane (if primary source of heat)
Rent (requires extreme extenuating circumstances)
Vet bills for seniors’ pets
Our focus is on helping seniors who typically can afford their household bills, but due to some unusual circumstances, are having difficulty paying one particular bill. Further screening takes place to ensure we are helping those who are truly in-need. However, we do not help those who are perpetually drowning in bills (living way beyond their means).
In recent weeks, Silver Horizons has seen an increase not only in the numbers of requests for help, but also in the level of assistance that is needed. For example, a year ago (even six months ago), most requests for household bill assistance were for $100-$300 (on average). Today, requests are more in the $350-$900 range.
In normal times, about 60% of the food and non-food items we distribute to seniors are donated via food drives. These food drives typically occur at churches, schools, large office buildings, etc. Currently, 95% of our food drives have been halted or canceled due to restrictions, stay-at-home orders, and other changes resulting from COVID-19. Silver Horizons has been forced to purchase more and more grocery items in order to continue our Free Groceries for Seniors program. Our costs have skyrocketed as a result of this shift in how we secure groceries. Our organization exists because of volunteer and donor support from the community.
Silver Horizons is committed to helping struggling seniors (age 50+) in Albuquerque, and from Santa Fe to Belen, and the grandchildren many of these seniors are raising.
Our goal at Silver Horizons is to do more than help “keep the lights on” or help a struggling senior “survive”. We work to help seniors feel safe and secure…and remain in their own homes. We hope to improve the quality of life of seniors in our community. That’s why we now assist with vet bills (so a senior doesn’t have to euthanize a buddy just because they can’t afford a vet bill), and we help pay for past-due internet service (to keep an isolated senior connected to the outside world).