A man was shot on Rivertree Circle in Orlando. This area is one of the “bad neighborhoods” in Orlando. It isn’t Pine Hills or Paramore bad, but that is mainly due to the fact that the “bad” area isn’t that large. Still, this is the Americana area, which is one of the worst areas for crime in the Orlando area:
- Pine Hills
- Washington Shores
- Americana Blvd
- Semoran Blvd
- Kirkman Road
- Metro West
Hearing about that neighborhood brings back memories.
Shortly after I was divorced 25 years ago, I was homeless for a time. Friends letting me shower at their place or sleep on the couch occasionally. The amount of child support I was paying, combined with the fact that the court ordered me to pay all of the credit card debt from when we were married meant being without much money. The child support and credit cards were automatically deducted from my pay, which only left me with $300 per month to live on. I walked everywhere and only ate on the days I was at the firehouse for work. I lost 55 pounds that summer. After two months, the small amount of money I could save enabled me to save $500 for a down payment to get a buy here/pay here car and allowed me to get a second job and live in that car.
Once my income was a bit better, I was able to split a two bedroom apartment with a roommate, and the Americana area was the only one we could afford. My half of the rent and utilities was $300 a month. I just checked- the rent in that area is much higher now. A two bedroom in that area costs about $1500 a month nowadays. For a crime ridden ghetto neighborhood.
The neighborhood was so bad that delivery drivers would refuse to deliver pizza or other meals in there, so you had to go get it as take out. Not even a pizza. One of the few places that used to deliver there was a place called “Steak Out.” They have since gone out of business in Florida, but it wasn’t that the food was bad. They delivered a complete steak dinner, the meals were decent, and the prices were reasonable. It’s just that they routinely got robbed at gun point. I was able to order from them once a month or so. It was a special treat.
I once ordered a meal from there, and just as I was biting into the salad, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to discover the delivery driver standing there, disheveled and beaten. He asked to use the phone, because he said he had just been robbed at gunpoint. I immediately drew a handgun, and his eyes grew wide as saucers, and I asked him what the guy looked like. I never found him. The critter was long gone.
In short, I was broke and had to live in a shitty, crime infested neighborhood. It was the kind of place where you didn’t go outdoors at night, unless you had a death wish. I spent a year living there, and then got out.
That was a rough time in my life, but I didn’t sit around and wait for handouts. I worked at the Fire Department, and on my days off I worked a second job as a janitor at Sea World. I went to school during what free time I had and got my paramedic. That got me a $7,000 a year raise. I also quit my janitor job and got a second job working for an ambulance company, which paid much better than janitorial work. I didn’t have to be poor any longer.
Don’t give up. Hard work and a bit of smarts can get you out of whatever situation you are in.