Jan 14, 2010 5:45 AM by John Romero

Former Homeless Man Defies All Odds

It's no secret many of the homeless living in Colorado Springs have problems with drugs and alcohol. With the vote on the no-camping ordinance looming the question raised now is how and when can they find help? Homeless advocate Bob Holmes says it's a very personal decision. "They reach a state we call "being sick and tired of being sick and tired." he says.

48-year-old John Clavin was one of those people. His addiction, a combination of methamphetamine and alcohol left him homeless. "That stuff just tore me up. It makes you sick." he explains, "Some people would say they got drunk last night and they don't remember what happened. I've lost whole summers, just gone. I don't know where I was or what I was doing."

One day in 2006 he decided he'd had enough. John joined a program with the Salvation Army and has since kicked his addictions and found a place of his own. The way he sees it, he had no other choice. "I was afraid that if I stayed there, if I stayed on the street I'd get comfortable with it and I'd still be there." he explains, "I would have kept doing drugs and I wouldn't be alive today. I would have died right there in the park." He knows if he could get off the street, anyone else can too. "You don't have to stay where you are. Keep trying." he says, "Every day you put it off is another day under the bridge."




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