Seniors Deserve a Place to Call Home

Why Justa Center Exists

Justa Center began in 2006 by Pastor Scott Richey and members of the United Methodist Church, who developed the programs and services after asking homeless seniors what they needed to help their journey back into housing. It started with a need to have somewhere they come every day to be safe, out of the weather, and have access to needed resources. Justa Center continues to grow. 

Seniors entering into homeless is a growing world-wide crisis.

In the United States, ten thousand (10,000) baby boomers turn 65 every day. In Canada, the city of Toronto has recently found that 62% of seniors reported difficulty in paying their rent. In the UK, the number of homeless seniors increased by 100% over a seven-year period. In the US, the number of homeless seniors is expected to increase annually until it peaks in 2060.

A population at risk

Seniors experience homelessness for a variety of reasons, including:

  • the lack of income to pay for housing (low government assistance, insufficient retirement income, current and historic low wages coupled with debt and medical expenses) 
  • the shortage of affordable and secure housing 
  • deteriorating physical and mental health 
  • a relationship breakdown and/or suffering from violence and abuse
The risk of homelessness for seniors can also be increased by the death of a spouse, social isolation, discrimination, or a lack of awareness of available benefits and services.

In Phoenix

In 2017, Phoenix reported an estimated 13,000 homeless individuals over the age of 45. Of those, over 2,000 were aged 62 and older. The most recent point-in-time (one-night) count of all homeless persons reflected a 12 percent increase year over year and reported the number of unsheltered homeless has risen 149% in the five-year period of 2014 to 2018.

Current studies find that shelter users 55 and over tend to have longer shelter stays compared to younger adults. A recently implemented shelter-stay policy of one 90-day period in 12 months does not address the unique challenges that homeless seniors experience.

The current length of time to find appropriate, affordable housing, be qualified and accepted, and save up for application fees and deposits is currently ranging from 160 to 400 days. This guarantees that more seniors will be living on the streets where they are at risk of illness, injury, lack of nutrition, and victimization for the majority of their homeless experience.

Our commitment to our members, donors, and the community is to:

  • Treat everyone, regardless of their life-situation, with respect and dignity
  • Maintain a safe place where homeless seniors feel welcome and safe
  • Proactively involve the member to improve his/her life
  • Mobilize volunteers, advocates, policy-makers and the community to increase opportunities and improve the quality of life for homeless seniors

Meet the Leadership

The Board of Directors and Leadership Team are comprised of dedicated servant-leaders who work together to change the lives of homeless seniors every day. 

Contact our leadership using the links provided. 

Board of Directors

To contact the board, click on the link below

Peggy Beltrone, Board President and Chair
Development Team, Cat Creek Energy

Paul Browning, Treasurer
Account Manager at Infor Global Solutions

Terri Waibel, Secretary
MSW, LCSW at Center for Compassion

Robbin Coulon
Director of Legal Services at Area Agency on Aging, Region One, Inc.

David Decker
Owner, Humani Tours and Travel

Billie Fidlin
Director of Outreach at Desert Southwest Conference United Methodist Church

Nancy Hempy
Director of Real Estate at Audio Express

Email the Board of Directors

Leadership Team

Wendy, Executive Director

Oly, Operations Manager

Micole, Community Engagement Manager

Tammy, Housing Specialist

Rudy, Extended Care Specialist

Merrill, Resource and Veterans' Specialist

Mary, Registered Nurse

Pastor Gerri, Pastor and Counselor