People, Riverwest

“I’m looking forward to just growing old”

Jimmy Scott stands outside the Riverwest Food Pantry at St. Casimir Parish on Clarke Street as bikers, participants in the Riverwest 24, pass by.

Scott, who grew up on the west and south sides of Chicago, was the victim of a shooting while living in the Windy City. “You grow up in the drug area, you know, there’s always shootings and stuff going on…I [was] just [in] the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said.

The 54-year-old Scott decided to come to Milwaukee in 1994 because his mother lived here and he wanted to distance himself from the violence of his hometown. Unfortunately, Scott says, Milwaukee doesn’t seem too far behind in that department, these days.

But, for Scott, the big difference is one of awareness. “In Chicago there was a whole lot more resources and stuff,” he said. “Here in Milwaukee, it’s basically a need-to-know basis. You know, if you don’t know about it, you won’t ever find out about it.”

Scott, himself, hasn’t had steady work for about a year and a half. In the mean time, he’s been taking care of his mother as a personal care worker and doing little jobs here and there.

It’s been especially hard for Scott because of a felony on his record from 18 years ago. “I’m still looking, though, you know – I never let it put me down.”

As far as the future goes, Scott, who also has electrical experience, said he might try to go back to school. Realistically, though, he’s not really sure what will happen.

“I’m just gonna stay positive and keep pushing, you know, that’s all I can say right now,” said Scott. “I’ll just wait and see.”


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