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Reader's View: Alcohol, drugs not only causes of homelessness

I am writing in concern over the March 22 article, "'Housing first' solution helping homeless fight addiction, health issues." First, writing about homelessness issues in Minnesota is commendable. It is an issue that needs to be brought to light ...

I am writing in concern over the March 22 article, "'Housing first' solution helping homeless fight addiction, health issues."

First, writing about homelessness issues in Minnesota is commendable. It is an issue that needs to be brought to light to many citizens in the state. I think it was great that the story highlighted John Fritz's success with overcoming chronic homelessness and becoming an author.

I do wish, however, that more would be written about issues that lead to homelessness and less about alcoholism and substance abuse. It is a fact that some people who are homeless use alcohol and substances as a coping mechanism. However, there are many other factors that play into homelessness, including evictions from homes, job loss, divorce, sickness, abuse, expensive hospital bills, the cost of living, and much more. In my opinion, adding multiple factors that lead to homelessness would help to decrease the stigma that all people who are homeless abuse drugs and alcohol.

I was not aware of "Heading Home Minnesota" prior to reading the article, and I appreciated that it was included.

To provide readers with more information on how to support the homeless population in Minnesota, I suggest more be written about the proposed Homeless Person's Bill of Rights in Duluth and what citizens can do to advocate for and support those who are homeless. Loaves & Fishes in Duluth is a great resource that can provide information about the progress of the proposal. The nonprofit has great insights on homelessness in Duluth.

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I hope the News Tribune continues to write about homelessness advocacy.

Alexa Bryner

Duluth

Related Topics: HOMELESSNESS
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