Meet Shelter Guest Leroy

Posted on June 1st, 2018

Leroy, a former guest in Simpson’s shelter program, has just settled into his new apartment in northeast Minneapolis, but it wasn’t long ago that he found himself among the rising numbers of senior citizens in our community’s homeless shelters. At 75 years of age, Leroy slept alongside men half his age.

The most recent point-in-time survey by Wilder Research counted 9,312 homeless adults, youth, and children; 843 were age 55 or older. Leroy is one of 69 guests age 62 or older that Simpson has served in the shelter program within the past twelve months.

Over the course of several months, the shelter staff has helped Leroy navigate the sometimes cumbersome and impersonal bureaucracies of senior housing and benefits. Through a supportive one-on-one working relationship with Leroy, staff was able to secure housing and additional services for Leroy that allow him to enjoy an independent, productive, and meaningful life.

At Simpson we maintain our commitment to advocate for each guest experiencing homelessness; serve each person with dignity; provide timely engagement and individualized support; and ensure each guest’s return to safe and stable housing.

Although he no longer needs the shelter for a place to sleep, Leroy is still a regular visitor at the shelter for dinner, conversation, and a few games of cribbage.  On the nights Leroy visits the shelter, you will see a grin in his eyes as he helps make the coffee, tidy the linens, and get the place in shape.  In mock exasperation he makes it clear that it’s obvious we still need him. Leroy is a dedicated and appreciated member of the close-knit Simpson community.

-Story provided by Robert Hofmann, Shelter Manager, and Tyler Geisen, Shelter Advocate