Viola* stood heartbroken, staring at her empty apartment. For weeks, she’d known that this day would come, but it was still hard to believe it was happening. The rising cost of rent had eaten all her savings. Over the past few weeks, she had gone to the library daily to try to find a cheaper apartment and a job.

But then time ran out.

I was so ashamed to be homeless.” –Viola

After paring down her belongings as much as she could, she put some necessities in her car and the rest in a storage unit. With tears in her eyes, she closed the apartment door for the last time.

At 68 years old, Viola was homeless.

She started living in her car. Viola didn’t have a place to wash her clothes or bathe. She didn’t always have food to eat. She didn’t sleep well because she was afraid.

When Christmas came around, she sat in her car listening to Christmas carols playing on KLOVE.

It was the worst Christmas of my life,” she says.

Then one winter Saturday afternoon, Viola parked her car in the Shepherd’s Gate parking lot and started crying. She was physically and emotionally shattered. She had lost all hope. She didn’t know how much longer she could survive living like that.

Thankfully, Viola had completed our application to enter our program at the local library the previous week. It was so cold outside that the staff came out and ushered her into the house and gave her a plate of warm food. She was able to take a hot shower and given a change of clothes before falling asleep in her new bed.

Since arriving here, Viola has begun healing. Her case manager is guiding her through filing for senior affordable housing, and helping Viola save while she recovers. She’s so thankful for partners like you who make it possible. Your gift today will help other women just like her!

Viola isn’t alone in experiencing homelessness late in her life. The number of older men and women who are homeless for the first time in their lives is skyrocketing!

Shepherd’s Gate Locations

1660 Portola Avenue
Livermore, CA 94551
United States
(925) 443-4283

605 Sycamore Ave
Brentwood, CA 94513
United States
(925) 308-7507