My name’s Robert Hogans, but you can call me Bobby. I’m 43 years old and have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Right now I’m living in a studio in Chicago, but I’ve been all around the Chicago area and suburbs. I went to high school in the city what seems about a hundred years ago. I really liked JROTC and marine and police explorers in high school, but I got a little distracted by other things and never went on with that. I ended up realizing that those other things, the drugs and alcohol, were doing nothing but stopping me from bettering myself. I had to make a decision to give up certain habits and people. That decision turned my life around, and I’m doing a lot better these days.
I stay pretty busy between the programs I’m involved in and things I like to do for fun. As long as I’m not down on my health, I spend my time volunteering at a lot of programs in the city, like the Lincoln Park shelter and Bobby E. Wright Mental Health Facility. I do a little bit of everything there, from desk work to cooking and cleaning. I’ve been at StreetWise for about three years now. I used to sell the magazines, but I don’t do that as much anymore since the cold is hard on my body. Mostly, I’m gaining good experience for other jobs in the future at these programs. Besides volunteering, I like to spend my time outside getting some exercise by bike riding, walking, and working out. I really enjoy it because it helps relieve the stress of everyday life. I’m in a couple of programs that help me with this, too. With Back on My Feet and Heartland Alliance, I get to walk with a group of people and talk about the issues going on in our lives together.
My favorite thing about all of these programs is the socializing. I’m crazy about StreetWise because I love the staff here. After working here for about three years, I’ve gotten to know a lot of people. I don’t see my family too often, so the friends I make at StreetWise and other programs are really important to me. What I like about them is that they are like me, and a lot of them have a good heart. I’ll be friends with anyone with a good heart.