Personal choices

Dear Editor:This letter is in response to Greta Campbell's "Failing Grade for Mayor" rant (Letters to the Editor, 12/13/12). Week after week I read her letters to the Patriot about the plight of the homeless in Downey. In her last letter she actually upped the number of homeless to 1,500. In prior weeks she wrote of 800 homeless. Has Ms. Campbell personally taken a poll of the actual number? Also, her proficient writing skills make me wonder - is she employed? If not, she should be. Either as a consensus worker or advocate. Ms. Campbell may think I am some "uppity Downey lady" with no understanding or compassion. Wrong. I spent years living on the edge. I ate very little for weeks until my minimum wage paycheck came. I had no family and few friends because I was ashamed of my situation. I knew in my heart that it was my responsibility to help myself. I got a part time weekend job to supplement my weekly pay. Yes, I worked seven days a week. I shopped thrift stores, never took a vacation and tried to save money. Some days I felt so depressed I didn't know if I could go on. My motto was, "Tomorrow is another day - a better day." I guess I could have got food stamps but my foolish pride told me no. Now, 20 years later, I can look back and know that I can and will survive. I never let a soul know how much I was hurting. I felt it was my own responsibility due to the choices I made. Mary J. Kemp Downey

********** Published: December 20, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 36