Johnny's Story


Whenever Johnny Johnson II walks through the lobby of his apartment building he’s greeted with warm hellos from his neighbors. And, almost every time he approaches the elevator someone stops him and strikes up a conversation. Johnny wouldn’t have it any other way, he gets along well with all of his neighbors and really enjoys how friendly and open they are.

Johnny moved into his Providence Supportive housing apartment in the spring of 2014. Before that, he’d been staying with family while he searched for an affordable apartment.

“Living here gives me peace of mind and I’m proud to have a place to call my own,” says Johnny. “It’s so peaceful here and it has a wonderful home-like atmosphere. I love the view from my apartment and I really like the neighborhood.”

Johnny was born and raised in Portland and was named after his father. Now divorced, he has two children, including Johnny Johnson III. As an adult Johnny moved around the country for various jobs including management, building maintenance and warehouse work. He once worked as a subcontractor mixing paint for Boeing airplanes.

Faith has always been an important part of Johnny’s life. He’s been in the ministry for years and once ran a street ministry to work with men who were living on the streets and/or struggling with addiction.

Johnny spends his free time riding his Suzuki Intruder motorcycle and enjoys road trips. “I’ve been riding for 42 years, it keeps me young and active,” says Johnny. He’s a member of a local motorcycle club and likes riding with fellow members and attending a variety of club functions. While he loves the thrill of the ride, Johnny is very aware of the danger that comes with it. Years ago he was involved in a major road accident, which was not his fault. “It could have been deadly. I was very blessed and survived without any major injuries. Ever since then I’ve made sure to always wear my helmet.”

Johnny says his open mind is one of the keys to what keeps him going. “Even though my body is aging, it doesn’t mean my mind has to age. I believe you are only as old as you think you are. Once you start thinking you are old, you start to become old. A positive attitude is critical. I like to stay motivated by going for walks in the park and by participating in water activities.”