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Community volunteer now needs help

January 21, 2009 |  9:00 am

Here's another sign of the economic times in Duarte, where a woman known for helping others now needs help herself. From the Star-News:Photo: A woman feeds her granddaughter during a Thanksgiving meal at a homeless shelter. Sandy Duarte, a long-time community volunteer who helped keep kids off the street through education, is now homeless herself. Credit: John Moore / Getty Images

For Sandy Patterson, the old adage, "no good deed goes unpunished," rings painfully true.

The former Duarte businesswoman had spent the past four years trying to keep at-risk youths off the streets by giving them a free education in auto mechanics at her "Sirius Gearheads" auto shop.

But after money problems caused her to lose the shop in late November, she and her family -- which includes three grandchildren -- have fallen into the trap she was trying to help the teens avoid. They are homeless.

"For the past six weeks now we have been homeless. (Being) the bag lady has become a fear of tomorrow for us," Patterson said.

--Shelby Grad

Photo: A woman feeds her granddaughter during a Thanksgiving meal at a homeless shelter. Sandy Duarte, a long-time community volunteer who helped keep youths off the streets through education, is now homeless herself. Credit: John Moore / Getty Images

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