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Eileen Klinghagen: No one plans to be homeless in winter

Homeless writer explains her plight and calls for better solutions to local homelessness.

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Reader Opinion letter

With cold weather comes the misery and dangers of being homeless and how to protect your possessions so people can’t steal them.

I am one of those homeless. The cold becomes your enemy when you have nowhere to live except a vehicle. Mine is a van that needs mechanical work and tires.

No one plans to be without a warm decent place to live. Many circumstances can be the cause - the loss of a job, abuse, limited income, discrimination and rents higher than you can afford.

The government has programs to assist, but finding proper housing according to their guidelines falls short at higher rental costs and utilities.

There is not adequate housing that meets the needs of some living on the fringe who don’t fit into the norm of the herd following the herd.

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When abuse is part of the equation, PTSD and trust limits places you can live safely. Abusers don’t admit they are responsible or liable for the abuse they have perpetrated. When family members protect the abuser, they are not only condoning the actions of the abuser, they are as guilty as the person who did the abuse.

There are houses in the area that meet the needs of folks like me.

I have a family some don’t consider to be important parts of the family. They are three senior dogs and are such a large part of my life. I would be incomplete without them. Some have told me to get rid of them but they are the ones who’ve provided me comfort and peace throughout this ordeal.

There must be someplace my dogs are accepted, where I’m accepted, where we can be warm and safe. It’s no fun living in a van when it’s cold and it takes a lot of gas to run a vehicle to keep it somewhat warm.

The winter ahead scares me. My dogs need a warm safe house to live in we can afford. Perhaps some of you reading this have some answers and help solve my dilemma and that of others who are homeless in this community.

Eileen Klinghagen

Willmar

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