JC man's personal choices lead to life on the streets

Alan Snell talks to reporters about what it will be like to be homeless again Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 7, 2011, on Capitol Ave. A fire Thanksgiving weekend damaged the house where he has lived for several years in a basement apartment. Snell is accused of setting fire to the building himself on Dec. 18.

Alan Snell talks to reporters about what it will be like to be homeless again Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 7, 2011, on Capitol Ave. A fire Thanksgiving weekend damaged the house where he has lived for several years in a basement apartment. Snell is accused of setting fire to the building himself on Dec. 18. Photo by Kelley McCall.

Alan Snell had been homeless before. As Christmas approached, he was preparing to be homeless again.

In recent years, Snell had a roof over his head because of the generosity of others. But, perhaps ironically, it may have been Snell’s reaction to losing his apartment that led him to his new home: the Cole County Jail.

There, he awaits charges of arson for setting his Capitol Avenue apartment house on fire after being evicted from the condemned house where he lived in a back apartment.

Before the fire, the Jefferson City man spoke with the News Tribune about his lifelong struggle with alcoholism, homelessness and his experiences living on the streets. Snell admits it was sometimes more due to him not helping himself than agencies not wanting to help him.

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