ARTHUR'S ROAD TO RECOVERY
Arthur turned 21 years old in the state prison. This wasn't where he thought he'd spend this significant day. After dropping out of high school, Arthur began running with the wrong crowd and what started as minor troublemaking turned into more serious offenses.
His life wasn't supposed to go this way. He grew up in the historic State Thomas community, now known as Uptown. He was a normal kid, playing football in middle school and basketball in high school. When his parents separated while he was in high school, Arthur moved around to different high schools, rootless and without his friends. Eventually, he dropped out.
When Arthur got out of prison, he moved into an apartment with a friend, working as a security guard for the complex at night. He eventually married, had two children, and began working as an auto detailer. He got back into football, playing defensive end for a semi-pro football team, and taking on various contract jobs to support his family. He also started smoking weed.
“I started smoking weed in my early 30’s,” said Arthur. “And then I began to use harder drugs. My wife took our kids and moved to Waco, and she divorced me. I fell apart.”
Arthur’s drug use escalated as he used them to numb the pain of losing his family. He remarried and had a third child, but that marriage ended too. Arthur started a pattern of paying his rent late and lost job opportunities as he was missing too many days of work. Eventually, he got evicted from his apartment.
His brother offered him a place to stay but Arthur's harmful lifestyle got in the way, and his brother ended up taking him to The Salvation Army. He lived two years at the shelter, cleaning and handing out blankets. Arthur was still using drugs at times and failed a random drug test, so he was asked to leave.
“I finally had enough and checked myself into a rehab,” Arthur stated. “There’s no future when you’re doing drugs. I got clean and moved in with my daughter. One day I met a guy, and he told me about a recovery group at his church. It was walking distance from my daughter’s, so I started going. Then I started mowing the lawn for the church too.”
Arthur eventually moved back into the downtown-area and lived at a sober shelter. One day he saw a news story about CityWalk@Akard, a diverse vertical neighborhood owned by our partner, CitySquare Housing. CityWalk provides affordable housing to low-income wage earners and permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless individuals. Arthur put in an application, and soon learned he had a new home!
Ten years later, Arthur is fondly known as the “Mayor of CityWalk.” He volunteers around the building, including serving in the on-site church, maintaining the vegetable garden, and barbecuing for resident gatherings. He meets with his case managers from the Community Life team, which provides supportive services and on-site counseling to the building’s residents.
Arthur's stable lifestyle ensures he can take care of himself. He is a colon cancer survivor and has other health issues, but with the support of CitySquare, he has a primary care doctor and received medical care.
“I messed up bad back then, and so glad to be where I am,” said Arthur. “I talk all the time to my kids now and just want to keep on going in life. ”
And CitySquare is going to be by his side.