forsale

012110_HOMELESS_CFW- Shana Carlile, 32, a Colorado Springs native emerges from her tent on the banks of Monument Creek. She introduces herself, Òmy nickname is 719 but people call me ÔSeven,Õ” the nickname come from the Colorado Springs telephone area code. Seven has been homeless off and on for the past 5 yearsÉ most recently since October. She says she is homeless due to abusive relationships and alcoholism but ultimately she says, ÒI chose to live this way.Ó She says of her friends in the homeless community on the river, ÒThey have my back- all the way through. We have eachother. ThereÕs nobody dirty down hereÉ nobody bad.Ó She says, if a possible ordinance banning camping passes, Òthen we leave. WeÕll go down to the county line Ð camp down there.Ó Of her partner, Eloy Valverde, she says he helped her out of an abusive situation, ÒHeÕs a beautiful man. He saved my lifeÉ I couldnÕt ask for anyone better right now.Ó The couple takes pride in there campsite and self sufficiency, ÒIÕm out here because I chose to be. Everyday I make my bed and I lie in it. We get up and we do what we need to do.Ó The keep the tent and the surroundings and themselves clean… and well groomed. (Craig F. Walker/The Denver Post.)