Jeff* had a lucrative job in information technology, played guitar and enjoyed the outdoors. But like many of us, Jeff felt overwhelmed by suffering in the world around him. And listening to the news added to his feeling that things were hopeless. “I couldn’t listen to NPR driving into work anymore because it was bringing me down every day,” he reflects.
Major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States, and we all cope differently. Like 20% of people with depression, Jeff turned to drugs to numb the constant pain. And his efforts to recover didn’t work. “I stayed clean for five or six months, but I wasn’t managing my depression and I relapsed. It’s easy to lose hope; it’s easy to lose where you’re trying to go.”
Overcoming substance use disorder, just like other chronic diseases, is hard and relapse is common. That’s why Community Health Worker Greg Rogers supports Jeff through the difficult, personal process of recovery.
“I see people outside on our porch, and I know they had lives before Health Care for the Homeless,” Greg says. As a former client himself, Greg knows this firsthand. So when Jeff came in, ready for help, Greg quickly got him enrolled in a residential recovery program and drove him to the front door.
Over time, Jeff’s team of providers—including Kara White, LMSW, and Lindi Hobongwana, CRNP— worked closely with him. “They helped me remain hopeful and see a way forward,” he says. No matter how many tries it takes, Greg and his colleagues will help Jeff get to where he wants to go. “We just never give up on people,” Greg says.
Moving forward looks pretty good on Jeff. With his signature gray ponytail, he’s smiling and cracking jokes, walking with confidence and making it to all his appointments. He’s the house manager of his residential treatment program and recently got a job at Powell Recovery Center, where he puts his IT skills to use supporting others.
Greg says, “Jeff has a good heart. Now he’s successfully coming out of homelessness. His life has changed, and so has mine.”
*Jeff is a pseudonym
1 in 6 adults will experience depression.
Call 1-800-273-TALK to reach a 24-hour crisis center. You are not alone.