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Feel good about local services for homeless people

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In reply to the letter by Rachel Hough (“Enough with the blaming,” Aug. 15), did it ever occur to you that a lot of homeless people want to be homeless? It is their chosen lifestyle. I spent three months at the Maxine Lewis shelter and another two-plus years in the Transitions-Mental Health program, so I have some basis to say what I’m saying.

I knew a number of “career” homeless folks who migrated seasonally to various parts of the West. Holding a regular job, signing rental contracts, and obeying program rules were not for them. Some cities have actually opened up housing for the homeless and could not get them to move in! When they finally did move in, they let all their friends move in, too, and generally trashed the apartments.

The residents of SLO County should feel good about the services available here. Sure, more shelter space is needed, but compared to areas like Orange County, the homeless services here are very good. I got plenty of help in this county because I did not want to live on the street. Others can escape the street, too, if they’re willing to change their lifestyle.

-- Tyrone Flanagan - Atascadero

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