The articles you have been writing regarding homelessness have been forwarded to me by a friend in San Diego. I found them interesting and provocative; yet, the dimension of homelessness was very narrow. Not all homeless people live on the street, not all homeless people are completely destitute. There is a new and growing group of homeless people whom I call the “formerly affluent” — often senior citizens. One circumstance beyond their control leads to other out-of-their-control circumstances and soon they find themselves on a very limited income, able to pay some bills, but with not enough to pay rent. They have a car and they live in it — not an easy challenge. Just visit the California rest stop near Oceanside — you will find them there.

How do I know about this group of homeless — I was, until very recently, one of them. Though I found a way to put a roof over my head, I am without many necessities and I must find a way to create income to pay for the roof over my head. Sadly, I am one of the “obsolete and invisible” people — I’m a senior citizen of 71 years old. How does an educated woman of 71 find a way to make a living in this economy? How does a 71-year-old woman recover from being homeless in her car? How can a homeless woman look like she is employable? How does she maintain her image long enough to find a way to regroup and recover? These are issues that I believe are worthy of addressing.

“Max” Kathleen Latham lives in Elk Grove, Calif.

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Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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