Rob’s Story: How the Homeless Outreach Program Gave Him His Life Back

At Zumbro Valley Health Center, we take great satisfaction from seeing our clients live happy and rewarding lives. We can’t help but smile when we hear their success stories, and we thought you would enjoy them, too. Below is one of our clients’ success stories which demonstrate how our Homeless Outreach Program, therapy, and primary care services helped him.  

For Rob*, a man overcoming several challenges including divorce and mental illness, our Homeless Outreach Program made a positive impact in his life. Keep reading to learn more about Rob’s* story.

Some people struggle to paint within the numbers while others can create artwork only after years of practice and a great deal of effort. To Rob, painting, wood burning, and other artistic endeavors are just second nature.

“Since I was a teenager, creating artwork has come very naturally to me,” he says. “The talent to work with paints, carve wood, and develop a range of artistic pieces has come down the line from my grandfather to my father to me.”

He explains that painting is a relaxing outlet that helps him cope with his bipolar disorder and depression.

“My dad encouraged me to start working with paints when I was 16,” Rob says. “It was a great coping mechanism for dealing with my parents’ divorce. My first painting was on a set of blinds at my dad’s house.”

Rob stopped painting for several years after he was married and worked full-time at his job. However, he came back to it after overcoming several challenges in his life, including a painful divorce, a diagnosis of depression and bipolar disorder, and experiencing homelessness.

“Following my divorce, it was a very difficult time in my life,” he says. “It definitely contributed to my depression, and my bipolar disorder led to many ups and downs in my life during these years.”

After four years of homelessness, Rob came to Zumbro Valley Health Center as one of the first participants in the Homeless Outreach Program. He’s been a client since 2010 and currently sees a therapist, visits primary care, and has a case manager who assists with housing services.

“Zumbro Valley Health Center has contributed so much to my life,” he says. “People can come here and get the help they need if they’re willing to work the process. If you do what it takes, things can work out. I’m proof of that.”

Our Homeless Outreach Program paired with our therapy and primary care services to make a positive difference for Rob, and they’re just three of the many comprehensive programs and services we offer at Zumbro Valley Health Center. Visit our news page to learn more and discover inspiring stories like Rob’s.

*Rob’s name has been changed to maintain confidentiality. 

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