This is the first in a series of interviews profiling people who are homeless in East County. If you know of a homeless person willing to be interviewed, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
By Miriam Raftery
January 28, 2010 (El Cajon) – “I’m trying to get off the street,” says Dawn Marie (last name withheld), who has been homeless for three months and is currently sleeping in an abandoned building in El Cajon. “I’ve been to college, but I can’t get a job because I have no experience, and you can’t get experience if nobody will hire you.”
Complicating matters, Dawn Marie suffers from a genetic medical condition known as neurofibromatosis. “I get fibrous tumors wherever I have a nerve,” she said, rolling up a sleeve to reveal bumps on her arms. She also wears a brace on her knee, which had previous surgery for a sciatic nerve tumor. She needs more surgery, but has no insurance. Waits for medical care through County Medical Services are long and coverage is limited.