After losing his partner of five decades, Stanley felt alone and depressed. His fortunes would change, however, when his niece discovered LGBTQ friendly senior housing in Philadelphia.
After being with my partner Pedro for 49 years, 5 months and 2 days, he passed away on October
I was despondent.
Not suicidal, but so alone.
My greatest support during that period was my great – my oldest niece.
She was – she is a very, very organized person.
After Pedro’s death, I didn’t realize it but I was ill myself.
It was a condition that I was not aware of, but it kept getting worse and eventually two
years – about a year and a half later, it came to a head.
I was hospitalized and in healthcare for a total of 16 weeks, and then went home to my
However, my niece, throughout this whole session, this whole period, was researching sites for
me for various – for various events, various occasions, various causes.
I believe it was she who found an apartment – an LGBT-friendly senior residence building
called John C. Anderson Apartments in Center City, Philadelphia.
Actually, it’s in the center of the Gayborhood.
I called the building and spoke to the manager.
I asked if there were any apartments available.
And she said that there weren’t but there was a list.
And I said, “How long is the list?”
She said, “About 200 names.”
And I said, “Can I add my name?”
And she said, “Yeah, sure, you can add your name.
And give me your number.
If something opens up, I’ll call you back.”
I said, “That’ll be fine.”
So I did that.
That was on a Friday, mid-day probably.
On Monday, the manager of the building called me and said, “I have an opening, if you
are still interested.”
I said, “Well, could you tell me something about the building?”
Because we really didn’t discuss the facilities or what the apartments are like, the size
of them, or any of the details.
We just spoke and I said, “Well, let me considerate it and I’ll get back to you.”
And so I contacted my niece’s husband who happens to be an attorney, and he agreed to
come with me to see the apartment.
So I called back and made an appointment.
And the two of us walk in and as she opened the door for us, my nephew said, “Grab it!”
We went toward the door to look at the garden and there were three people outside.
They walked in and introduced themselves.
And I introduced myself and my nephew.
And they said, “Are you moving in?”
I said, “That’s a very good possibility.”
That’ll be wonderful.
We’ll love to have you.”
I gave a deposit that day.
I started papers.
I started disposing of fifty years worth of possessions, just enough to furnish my apartment.
Within two months I was living at John C. Anderson Apartments.
It took me awhile to get settled into the apartment after disposing of so many material
But gradually I formed relationships.
Not friendships, but very good relationships, and we did social things together.
I found that my state of mind was beginning to change.
I felt lifted.
From 2012 until 2017, when I moved to Center City, I was waiting in a box till my time
After moving to Anderson, I felt that I was starting a new life.
I don’t know how many cities are fortunate enough to have places like the John C Anderson
It’s a very well-managed building.
Almost everyone is friendly.
Those places that don’t have that this kind of facility are really missing something because
when you feel your life has ended, there’s – it just shows that there is an opportunity
for it to revive.
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