By Armond S. Robinson
Formerly homeless, Armond Robinson has found a place to live at C.L. Dellums Apartments at 644 14th St. in Oakland.
I was homeless for over a year. I yearned to have the stability and peace of mind of having my own place, where I could resurrect the normalcy in my life that I had when I taught college.
So, when I got the call that I could move into the C.L. Dellums, my heart leapt for joy as my soul calmed and breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, I would have my own space and my own bathroom, the physical beginnings of stability.
And because I met the income requirements, my rent would always be an affordable 30 percent of my income.
Wanting to know more about the Dellums, I researched and discovered that this building was completed in 1912 and originally had been the Alamo hotel. Later, it became the Drake Hotel, and in February 1995, it opened as an affordable housing apartment building, renting to homeless people seeking a permanent residence.
I am glad this homeless person found permanent residence here. I was happy just to have my own place. Little did I know that I had also inherited access to healthcare.
Due to an affiliation with Lifelong Health Care, we residents have our own doctor – Dr. Susan Ferguson. She conducts a noon meeting twice a month called “Lunch and Learn” where she answers questions and gives us important information.
After the meeting we have a tasty, nutritious catered lunch. But the piece de resistance for me is that she comes in weekly and sees people individually. All we have to do is sign up.
Since I am increasingly concerned about my health as I get older, meeting with her is invaluable. She cares, listens attentively, and counsels wisely, but, most importantly, she never rushes,
There are four other things that make living at the Dellums satisfying. First, someone covers the door 24/7, so I feel safe. Second, I can do laundry in the building. Third, I have easy access to public transportation, the bus and BART. Fourth, I have a great view because I was fortunate and got a room on the 6th floor. Looking left, I can see the Bay Bridge, and looking right I can see the hills.
I wouldn’t mind having a larger room, and I have to go to the second floor if I want to use a stove to cook because I only have a microwave in my room. But I really can’t complain. I have good neighbors, healthcare, security and a great location. I am blessed.