Any downtown big city dwellers?

I’m not one. But if you are. Have you lived downtown in a big city your whole life and if not what made you move there

I live in downtown Little Rock Arkansas, not really a big city. I moved to downtown in 2008 when I was homeless. My case manager rented the place for me when I got my first Social Security Disability check. It’s within walking distance of my psychiatric care provider.

A couple of years ago I was in a board & care home downtown in San Jose, California. San Jose is in northern California; it has a population of around a million.

Yeah, that was weird. There I was, 55 years old and I had been out of the hospital for 28 years and I had been living independently in society for the past 20 years. But then my mom died, I lost my housing, I had to quit school, I had a bad back where I was inconstant pain, I had to take two months off of work. I was majorly stressed and so I was back in the psyche ward again.

I got out and moved into the group home. It was an interesting experience. I didn’t want to be there and I complained to my sisters all the time about it. It got a little weird sometimes. I laid in my bed to rest or get on the computer at night in my room and I would swear that I heard someone turn the doorknob. It was such a subtle feeling that I dismissed it as I was just imagining things. It took 4 months before I realized that the guy across the hall roamed in the hall at night and I finally saw him trying doors on other residents rooms. So I was right. Anyways, some of the people were cool to me and I talked to my roommate all the time and I talked to other people. We lived exactly next to a 7-11 and I went there three or four times a day. Sometimes I hung out in front of it just drinking soda and watching people. A lot of homeless people or people from other board & cares used to frequent the 7-11. I knew a lot of them by sight and a few were friendly to me because we saw each other all the time. A couple of the women in the house liked me but I couldn’t tell for sure. I had conversations with them. Like my sister told me just a couple of months ago, I complained about the home a lot but I also had some very meaningful moments with the other tenants and the guy who was at the top of the pecking order used to laugh at everybody including me but after awhile he saw I was alright and I grew to be on good terms with him.

Driving sucked in the city, I accidently drove the wrong way on one-way streets all the time. There were always construction going on the roads and since it was a big city the traffic was often bad. Yeah, I never enjoyed driving there but I did appreciate that I even had my own car.

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That’s where I thought you still were. Where now?

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I moved out into a two bedroom apartment my caseworker helped me get. It’s independent living but we have a counselor visit us every three weeks and we also have a mental health agency that owns the building as a safety net.


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