AP: Trump won areas in despair, can he save them?


Claire Galofaro reports for the AP from Aberdeen, Washington about a region drowning in despair, and an Episcopal priest ministering on the street:

The Rev. Sarah Monroe can’t afford to be patient. Already, she has held seven funerals this year. She tallies the initials of the dead on a tattoo that winds around her bicep: AB, dead at 23; ZV, at 24.

Now she has a new one to add: Shawn Vann Schreck, dead at 42.

Most in her flock are too consumed by the daily chaos of addiction and poverty to be engaged in what’s happening in Washington. But their lives might depend more than most on Trump’s plans for health care, drug policy and the safety net, she says.

Schreck’s girlfriend, Misty Micheau Bushnell, says his death shook her so much she’s ready to move away, and hopes her methamphetamine addiction won’t follow her.

But Monroe has seen this again and again. They claw their way out and get clean— then there’s another friend to bury, the despair returns and the cycle starts anew.

“I don’t think our politicians know how high the stakes are here, and after so many years have gone by with our situation still as devastated as it is, I don’t know if they care,” she says. “I’m not sure how much worse it can get, and at the same time I’m afraid to see how much worse it can get.”

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