As a child, Charles Revello struggled to find a community, somewhere he could belong. Eventually, he found was he was looking for; despite some recent setbacks, Charles longs to return home. Watch: Part 1 of Charles’ story. See more videos from Milwaukee Stories, Inc. Did you find value in this story? If so, please sign up to receive periodic updates. We need your help! Milwaukee Stories is a nonprofit organization that brings you the real stories of regular people. This work is supported by small, individual monthly contributions from people just like you.
After leaving the Marine Corps, Charles Revello lost his family, and his home, because of drugs. But, something his mother said on her deathbed helped Charles to start being honest with himself.
Terry Ellis walks down W. Kilbourn Ave. across from Norris Park in Milwaukee’s Marquette neighborhood on a still-chilly spring day, hood on, collar up. His breath cuts through the cold air as he struts, hands in his pockets, down the empty sidewalk. Ellis was born in Milwaukee and grew up on the north side near 25th and Capitol. “I had a good childhood,” he says but, then, qualifies. “I mean, pretty typical, you know, for any child — particularly an African-American child — in the inner city. Had good times, bad times.”
Preston Jones smokes a cigarette outside the Milwaukee Rescue Mission on W. Wells Street in the Marquette neighborhood. Expelling the smoke seems like a sacred ritual for Jones — he opens his mouth in a long “o” shape, exposing his slender, yellow-stained teeth, before breathing out. Jones was “born and raised right here in Milwaukee” and, for the most part, hasn’t left. “I done been to Chicago before, I done been to Holly Springs, Mississippi, before — only one time to each one of them,” he says, though you wouldn’t know from hearing him talk — his voice is loud with a hint of southern drawl.