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She lies in a bed; no food is needed because her belly is full of alcohol. She is a lucky one because she has a bed, for now.

I watch the homeless rushing to the Poverello Center to get a place for the night and I wonder, did they once lie and drink until their bellies were full?

She almost died in the intensive care unit at St. Patrick Hospital, but she didn't because she is a strong woman and wants to live, alcohol- and drug-free. Isn't that wonderful?

Yes, but she still lies in bed as the social workers and her family try to get her into a treatment center in Missoula, or maybe into a safe place in Missoula where she can stay until she's medically well enough to go into treatment. She has been waiting for five days to be moved but Missoula has no place for her to go.

Does Missoula really care about the people who suffer from addictions? Some would say yes, look, there is a new Poverello Center, there's a mission where they can eat and if they by any chance have a place for food, they can always go to the food bank.

Missoula, that is not treating the addiction that contributes to homelessness. Why is the wonderful treatment center of St. Pat's gone? Why do you need to have money to be able to get well? Why can't you go to treatment if you also have medical issues? Why do you need Medicare to get into a medical rehab center? Why aren't there enough beds for people who are low-income?

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Missoula, it is time to wake up. Build a place for addicted people that doesn't cost a fortune to get into. Help our own get well.

Tami Rossing,

Missoula

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