Denver Set Out to End Homelessness Ten Years Ago -- Is the Finish Line in Sight?

Michael George spent nearly a third of his life living on Denver's streets.

He was born in Colorado, but his dad was a cook in the Air Force, and when George was four years old, the family moved from Lowry to Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. George lived there until he finished high school -- inspiring what would later be his street nickname, "Alabama" -- and then followed in his father's footsteps, joining the Air Force. He trained in Colorado and was stationed in Texas, where he did supply work. He never had to fight during his four-year stint, but he was a casualty in another way. "When I got out of the military, people were saying, 'You know, you're kind of over-drinking.' But to me," he recalls, "I was like, 'Are you for real? Everybody takes a drink.' Nine in the morning, hey, what's wrong with that? Because that's what we did in the barracks. It was accepted, and it wasn't a big thing in that military world at that time."

See also: For the Homeless, Urban Camping Is No Picnic

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Kristin Pazulski has been a renaissance faire wench, a reporter, an espresso-shot slinger, an editor of a newspaper for the homeless and a grant writer. She's now a freelance writer covering Denver's restaurant scene.
Contact: Kristin Pazulski