San Jose Baby-Boomer Author Timothy Fitzgerald Urges the Community to Reach Out to Older Homeless People During the Thanksgiving Holidays

Share Article

The Great Recession has forced many baby-boomers to descend to the lowest point in their lives. In the United States, unemployed older workers who are 55 and older have been the hardest hit by the recession. A whopping 39.4 percent of unemployed older workers have experienced long-term unemployment. In this downturn economy, older workers have the highest rate of long-term unemployment in the country. Because of age-discrimination, many baby-boomers have been jobless for a very long time. They have exhausted their savings and 401ks. They may be no longer able to pay rent. As a result, some baby-boomers no longer have shelter. Baby-Boomer author and community activist Timothy Fitzgerald personally has experienced homelessness himself. Timothy Fitzgerald became unemployed after he was laid-off from his position as a community college instructor in 2005. After looking for work for almost a year, Mr. Fitzgerald quit his job search. He no longer could cope with the severe discrimination he experienced as an older person. As a result, he later lost his apartment at the age of 59 and became homeless and sought relief.

"During this Thanksgiving season, it is my hope that older homeless people's special needs are not ignored by their fellow Americans," said Timothy Fitzgerald.

The Great Recession has forced many baby-boomers to descend to the lowest point in their lives. In the United States, unemployed older workers who are 55 and older have been the hardest hit by the recession. A whopping 39.4 percent of unemployed older workers have experienced long-term unemployment. In this downturn economy, older workers have the highest rate of long-term unemployment in the country.

Because of age-discrimination, many baby-boomers have been jobless for a very long time. They have exhausted their savings and 401ks. They may be no longer able to pay rent. As a result, some baby-boomers no longer have shelter.

Baby-Boomer author and community activist Timothy Fitzgerald (http://www.timfitzgerald.org) personally has experienced homelessness himself. Timothy Fitzgerald became unemployed after he was laid-off from his position as a community college instructor in 2005. After looking for work for almost a year, Mr. Fitzgerald quit his job search. He no longer could cope with the severe discrimination he experienced as an older person. As a result, he later lost his apartment at the age of 59 and became homeless and sought relief.

"Many baby-boomers like myself never expected that we would experience homeless in our older years," said Timothy Fitzgerald. "We played by the rules and made major contributions to the workplace. And yet, America now has turned its back on us."

"During this Thanksgiving season, it is my hope that older homeless people's special needs are not ignored by their fellow Americans," said Timothy Fitzgerald. "The current system is set up to focus on keeping younger homeless families together- especially single heads of households. However, older homeless people who represent the baby-boomer generation also deserve to be treated with respect and dignity."

Mr. Fitzgerald currently is enrolled in the over-60 program at San Jose State University as a post-graduate student; and is now completing his third master's degree. He is on track to be awarded this degree in Philosophy in spring 2011.

As a qualified historian, in the last decade Fitzgerald authored "The Wawona Brotherhood: The San Jose State Campus Revolt" in which he chronicles his civil rights experiences at San Jose State University during the turbulent 1960s through the early 1970s. In his eight-year quest to obtain his bachelor's degree, Mr. Fitzgerald also battled mental illness and poverty. Despite these obstacles, Mr. Fitzgerald was a widely recognized student leader on the campus of San Jose State.

In 1969, Mr. Fitzgerald led the winning campaign that made history in the state of California by mobilizing baby boomers on the San Jose State campus to elect the first African-American campus student body president in the state university system. In addition, he was instrumental in desegregating off-campus student housing in San Jose; and he collaborated with leading campus figures to create a new governing system on the San Jose State campus.

Mr. Fitzgerald's first memoir, "The Wawona Brotherhood: The San Jose State Campus Revolt" is available both as a hardcover and eBook. The sequel to his memoirs, "Diamond in the Rough" will be released in December, dealing with the working poor of San Jose and the efforts that Fitzgerald made in preserving local low and very low-income housing in the early 1980s.

Mr. Fitzgerald's work in downtown San Jose was done in the face of redevelopment and urban renewal proposed by city fathers three decades ago. Despite a clash of values and resources, Fitzgerald carried his campaign for city council. That led to a downtown conflict with the status quo, which resulted in someone else being elected to city council in 1982.

From his time as an undergraduate, Mr. Fitzgerald has been a community activist in San Jose for over thirty years. In the 1990s, he ran for State Assembly. Mr. Fitzgerald is the former Vice Chairman of the Disability Advisory Commission of San Jose; and in addition is a former Green Party state leader.

Mr. Fitzgerald has been a guest on American Voice Radio Network's New World Order Disorder, LA Talk Radio's Bipolar Nation, San Francisco radio station KPOO's Community Worker, San Jose radio station KKUP's Silicon Valli Voice and has appeared on San Jose radio station KBAY and Mammoth Lakes radio station KMMT. He also has been interviewed by the San Jose Mercury News, San Jose State Spartan Daily along with the Mammoth Times and Los Gatos Times Weekly. He also recently authored an article for AAboomers.com.

For more information about author Timothy Fitzgerald, visit his Web site http://www.timfitzgerald.org. For interviews, e-mail timothyfitzgerald97(at)yahoo(dot)com or call 408.726-9940.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Timothy Fitzgerald

408.726.9940
Email >
Visit website