Luella Barnett Chicago , Illinois

“You have to find a way to survive.”


Luella Barnett is a housing leader at Jane Addams Senior Caucus. She has attempted to retire three times, but even with her pension and Social Security benefits she could not survive. Once she paid her rent, she did not have enough for medication, food, or any other living expenses.

“Okay, what am I gonna eat today?” Luella said. “I think I’m going to have to get the medicine and leave the food. Okay, so I said I have to go back to work, because I can’t go without eating.”

Luella currently works as a home care worker, taking care of other seniors in her community. Even as a caregiver, she doesn’t make enough as it is.

This is why we need stronger retirement security, so seniors like Luella can retire without having to go back to work. Retirement should not be a luxury reserved for the few. Expanding Social Security is a must!