If Boomers Had It So Good, Why Are They Greeters At Walmart?

Alex, give me corporate greed for ten thousand dollars

Linda Caroll
Minds Without Borders
7 min readJun 8, 2024


Old woman riding on a train
Old woman on a train, ai generated photo licensed from vecteezy

An old homeless guy hangs around the area where I live. His name’s Lyle. I know because one day I was walking to the mall a couple of blocks away and he popped his head out of a recycle bin, tagged along. Said he worked his whole life. Used to own a house in this neighborhood. It’s why he hangs around here. Feels like this area is home.

Lost his job, didn’t find a new one fast enough. Now he’s picking bottles out of recycle bins and dumpster diving to eat. Shook his head. Said a man works his whole life, pays his taxes, does his part, this is what he’s reduced to. I figure he’s seventy if he’s a day. Get to the mall, he wanders over to talk to the homeless woman sitting a few feet from the door. She’s old, too.

People like that are epidemic in America. Boomers are the fastest growing group among the homeless. A study led by the University of Pennsylvania looked at how many of the homeless are over fifty. In the 1990s it was eleven percent. By 2003, twenty seven percent. Today over half the homeless in America are over fifty and people over sixty are becoming homeless more than any other age.