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In memory of a sister
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Janice Bradley's graduation picture from the University of Kansas gives no hint of her later life as a homeless person. She was killed in 2004 -- struck by a car after passing out from chemical abuse. (Photo courtesy of Cherilyn Johns)
So far this year in Minnesota, 104 people have died because they were homeless. One of them is Janice Bradley, who was struck and killed by a car. The homeless Army veteran and college graduate had passed out in a parking lot from drinking. Janice Bradley, mother of two, was 41 years old when she died. She was remembered Thursday night in Minneapolis as part of a memorial event for all homeless people. Bradley's sister shares her story.

Minneapolis, Minn. — Tears fill Cherilyn Johns' eyes as she remembers her sister Janice. They are tears of sadness, tinged with frustration. Cherilyn is a counselor at the Upper Midwest American Indian Center in Minneapolis. She counsels women who are addicted.

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Image A sister remembers

Cherilyn and Janice were close. They grew up together on northern Minnesota's Red Lake Reservation. Janice graduated from high school, went into the Army, left with an honorable discharge, and graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in science. Her college graduation picture shows a beautiful young woman in cap and gown, beaming with pride as she's handed her degree.

Janice Bradley got a job with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, but lost it because of absenteeism due to drug use. Cherilyn Johns has agreed to recount Janice's life with the hope other families can avoid a similar outcome.

Johns spoke with MPR's Dan Olson. To listen to their interview, choose the audio link in the right column.

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