The Aging of Orange County


Housing & Poverty

When the Dream Becomes a Nightmare

When 75-year-old Alice and her daughter — who also served as her caregiver — moved to Orange County, they expected to find opportunity and easy living. Instead, they found homelessness and hunger. Alice’s Social Security was barely enough to cover the cost of her medications, and the pair lived in their broken-down car, with an occasional stay in a rundown motel. Alice grew thin and frail after living this way over a period of years. Thankfully, Mercy House found them permanent shelter.

When the Dream Becomes a NightmareFood, however, continued to be scarce for the two women.

“I remember one week, my daughter and I lived entirely on bread and water,” Alice recalled.

A woman from a local church visited Alice and her daughter and helped them enroll in Meals on Wheels. Today, Alice has regained her strength, and neither worry when they will eat again.

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