Advocates fear higher inflation costs could leave senior citizens, elderly homeless

A COVID-era surge in inflation in the US is about to get worse according to Biden Administration officials. While some Atlanta residents are already feeling the difference, they told FOX 5 their concern is for people in more vulnerable populations. 

In a global market trying to bounce back from the effects of the pandemic, inflation is continuing to hit consumers hard.

After the US reached a 30-year high on the price of goods, Biden Administration officials announced earlier this week the costs for rent, gas and groceries will likely keep climbing.

"I think that in general prices have continued to escalate. I think largely it’s supply chain and obviously inflation is just a big part of that," Andrew Wonder of Wonder Global Retail Sales Consulting said Wednesday.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has already reported an 8.5 percent increase in prices on gas, shelter, and food in the last year and a 1.2 percent increase from February to March of this year.

"I think the biggest challenge is the compromise between retailers like Kroger and Home Depot wanting to raise their prices and understanding the cyclically of how people are going to spend their money," he told FOX 5. "You have a lot of people who are living paycheck to paycheck." 

With costs expected to keep rising, advocacy groups like The Oaks Resident Advocacy Group believe another price hike could put people living on fixed or lower incomes in an even more compromising position. 

 "I economize everything I do," Penelope McCalley said.

McCalley, a retired senior who lives on a fixed income, told FOX 5 because of the rise in prices, she changed her shopping days.

"I chose sushi because it’s $5 sushi today…it’s the only time I could afford it," she explained. "With the cost of things going up as much as they have, in every aspect of my life, I’m just not frivolous."

But McCalley said as an advocate for other seniors through an Atlanta based group called TORAG, her real concern is how another price hike may impact their living situation. 

"The senior population is going to become the next big homeless population," she said.

Wonder said there’s a big push now on retailers to maintain their prices despite suppliers raising costs. The White House announced plans Tuesday to try and lower costs for fuel this summer by allowing more gas stations to offer an ethanol blended fuel.