This is a response to the letter entitled "The Real Story" in the March 3rd edition, in which the writer references my letter about a recent Coos County Commission meeting and remarks that were made about homelessness. He wrote (referring to those who are homeless), "They are all addicted to drugs. They are all criminals. they are choosing to live that lifestyle." He further stated that I had no experience "on the streets", and I would like to address these remarks.

I have been homeless twice in my life. The first time, I lived in a car in Colorado Springs during a very cold Winter. I had nothing (it was a friend's car), and it took a while to get someone to hire me (I was 17) and to acquire enough income to get an apartment. I easily could have been caught up in the drug culture or resorted to crime to have food and shelter. It was difficult watching those with so much look at me with disdain. I watched some friends make poor choices, and two of my friends died. I was fortunate and got on a better track... but there were strong forces that made this difficult.


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