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ROBERT PRICE: She finally found herself at the homeless shelter

Her roommates were a tad suspicious at first. What was a beautiful, trim athletic blonde doing at the Bakersfield Homeless Center, clutching her purse to her chest like it was her last possession on earth?

Because it was.

Shari Rightmer had hit bottom. Broke and alone with no prospects to speak of, she'd driven to the shelter on East Truxtun Avenue, praying there'd be an empty bed. It took a few hours, but one became available: Bunk No. 11. She took it gratefully.


Rightmer didn't sleep at all that first night. She cried and clutched that purse of hers, though it contained nothing of significance except for a driver's license and an insurance card. Not that it would have mattered much: The woman in the next bunk woke up every few minutes with night terrors.

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