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Former Marine finds "home" at the Library

At the lowest point of his life, Jeff Scarlett found support, a sense of “home,” and motivation to turn his life around at the North Clairemont Branch Library.

Jeff’s life spiraled after an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps. He became dependent on drugs after back surgery. He lost his job, custody of his daughter and his home. He even contemplated suicide.

During these tough times, the North Clairemont Library was his safe haven. “There was always someone to help me,” Jeff said. “People treat you like you are somebody. Here I was somebody.”

He used the computers daily to connect with his daughter in North Carolina. An avid reader of mysteries, Jeff read the branch’s entire collection and got a Library card to check out books and music CDs.

Library staff’s support and respect were key in his rehabilitation. Jeff returned this month to share his gratitude and celebrate four years of being sober, off the streets and employed.

Receiving his Library card was a turning point. The Library “trusting me to check out things meant the world to me.” It helped motivate him to enter rehab. In late 2018, Jeff celebrated four years of being off drugs, off the streets and being back at work.

“Libraries are very important to every community,” Jeff said. “People are truly blessed to have libraries in their communities.”