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 about 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, 99% 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.
To learn more, or to get involved, connect with at:
P.O. Box 6879 Albuquerque, NM 87197