I have been in what is considered to be the inner city of this medium sized town for a year and a half. Today I heard the shots of the first murder in the local neighborhood. There had been a murder at the local college several months ago but I was with my family at the time and had little awareness. The gunfire sounded like fireworks but at a time of the pre-dawn that was unusual for that kind of event. I heard a few sirens afterwards but heard nothing else until someone who also heard the shots mentioned not hearing it on the news. Three hours after the shooting the local news picked up on it. Two people are in custody. Shootings in this neighborhood had dropped after cops came to the neighborhood and committed random acts of kindness to local youth. Recently I saw young kids riding bikes in the neighborhood and wondered if they were gifts. I guess it was too much to ask for the luck to last. A man in his mid 20’s was shot. I was in my mid 20’s when I first became ill. I knew for a long time that I may end up here and made sacrifices like not tying to get married or have kids due to my genetics and the long shot any of my potential kids would have here. I tried to avoid this fate by writing poems and getting an associate’s degree but the almost inevitable happened and I ended up here. I did not choose to be here and neither did the kid who was shot. I was fortunate that I was born into a more affluent situation and had a lot of experiences most people with my illness don;t get to have like many nice vacations to Atlanta the Smoky Mountains and even a trip to the beach. That kid who died will never have that chance. I am lucky also that I have a roof over my head food in my stomach and am not in jail like so many others with my illness or who have spent their lives in the inner city. People where I was raised consider the area I now live to be a bad neighborhood and a place you don’t want to be. The folks who have always lived here and where I now live call it home. There is a proposed program by the President to allow broadband to public housing units. I hope it is done because not having Internet access puts one at a disadvantage. As it is if this computer goes out it will be nearly impossible to replace. I am thankful for what I have and aware of what I could lose and I hope the rest of the Summer is a quiet one.
When I was 19 and I was freshly diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia I was put in a group home in the downtown area of San Jose, Ca, a large city of 750,000 people. One night I was walking with a counselor through our neighborhood and we came upon a crime scene. There was a man laying on the ground and he was soaked with blood.
The police had blocked off an area around the man with yellow tape. A bystander told us the man had been shot in the chest pointblank with a shotgun and the guy who shot him had run off into the night. It wasn’t something you see every day (or night). I’ve been in some bad areas while I’ve had my illness but I survived relatively unscathed.
Just be careful in your neighborhood. The odds of being a victim of violence for someone with schizophrenia are higher than the general population.
I call most of those poverty killings.