Illness plunged me from a rich, social life in a cosmopolitan world city to a rural area. My experience is that certain circumstances increase your chance of making friends. In other words, your social skills are a small component. Outside circumstances play a huge factor. I've found it much easier in a large city b/c others are in the same boat. NYC is full of private clubs to meet people. Schools facilitate it. Gyms, parks, etc.
People seem more in cliques in rural areas. Maybe Manhattan was so anonymous so people have worked for generations to make it more home like. When I was well, the six degrees of separation was true. No matter where I went, I kept running into friends and acquaintances. The numbers are staggering. Sometimes I yearned for more anonymity. The Meet Up website is a good way. Craig's List may have info, too.
Church is usually a good way. Most people in mainstream churches are there for social reasons primarily. It provides a haven without being a cult.
Witness life is intense. We share persecution. There is a false sense of intimacy. It is not easy for me to constantly put myself out there. The rewards have been good. It is wonderful to be truly yourself and receive feedback that people get you for you, not an image you project. Where you are now is a crappy place to be. It is only a transition, though. Better times are ahead. Once you establish a beachhead with some group, the others are much easier.
Another thought occurred to me. My parents had no social skills, outside of WT culture. I did not know how to make social chatter, when to push, when to retreat. There are books now on how to do these things. I attended no regular parties growing up. Assimilating into American upper middle class life was very difficult for me. It was well worth the pain and awkwardness. I held myself back by feeling insecure.