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By Parker Heinlein
Outdoors Columnist 

Handouts and Charity Were Not For Me


August 30, 2023

Shortly after arriving in Montana as a homeless 18-year-old I remedied that situation by getting a job that provided room and board.

After all, I had a skill.

I could cook.

I spent much of that first summer in the backcountry working for an outfitter who took clients on pack trips into the Beartooth Mountains and Yellowstone Park.

The wages were minimal, but enough that I could pay my own way. That’s how I had been raised.

Handouts and charity were for the less fortunate, not for me.

But that was a lifetime ago when homeless wasn’t yet a part of our vocabulary. We knew them as bum...

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