I am responding to the article in the Sunday Telegram about Don Gean, who, for many years, made it his life’s work to help the homeless people in York County (“Maine visionary, advocate for the homeless retires,” March 16). He is an amazing man and should receive some kind of award for his work.

During the late 1980s and early ’90s, I worked for the Office of Substance Abuse as a licensing specialist. We went to every substance abuse treatment facility or office in the state of Maine.

I have many warm memories of our trips to the York County Shelter Programs. I was so impressed with what Don was doing and his amazing dedication to this important work. So many people regard alcoholics and homeless people as not worth bothering with, but he considered them his equal. And, as a result, most of the clients he helped thrived.

I recall something that was left out of the newspaper article. There was a three-legged dog that the residents had taken in because no one else wanted him. I was always touched by that.

My hat off to you, Don Gean, for a job well done and a life well lived! Your accomplishments should be a model for every community. Thank you.

Sara Orbeton

South Portland

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