Centra Villa Apartments
It’s difficult to imagine the hardships one would face being homeless for 25 years. For Samuel Walker, that was his reality.
When we first arrived at Centra Villa Apartments, Samuel was the first resident we met. We had planned an interview with him for the following day, but as we approached the leasing office we saw him greeting all of the women who worked there, making jokes and laughing. “I’ve gotta go. I’m going to help somebody, I love to give back”, he says excitedly. He then proceeded to walk away toward the small town center just a block away from the apartment complex.
We met with Samuel the following day on the patio outside his apartment. He talked about his experiences living at Centra Villa and the unexpected challenges of adjusting to living inside after so many years on the street.
He agreed to take us to the places that he had spent so much time with while homeless: the Atlanta Mission and several places he slept. Standing under a bridge where he most often slept, Samuel remembered how he lived and the struggles he had with his mental health. Having a permanent home and a job, Samuel is well on his way to getting his life on track.
“Home, to me, means–it’s a beautiful thing to be on ‘the inside,’ because sleeping out on the street, under bridges, or anywhere is a terrible thing. Because it’s easy to lose your composure, your character, and your life.”