Weekly Newsletter | May 29, 2024

Human Services Campus is changing our name to Keys to Change. Learn more...

Robert's Journey Home

Huge congratulations to Robert* for reaching a milestone – two months since placement in permanent supportive housing!

We recently sat down with Robert and listened as he shared his story. It is with his blessing that we share the details of his experience.

Originally from Philly, Robert is a self-proclaimed “reformed gypsy” who has called the Valley home for many years. He lives with multiple mental health diagnoses and has spent much of his adult life bouncing between psychiatric treatment facilities, budget hotels, and life on the streets.

Sadly, he's suffered abuse at the hands of people who should have protected him, and his PTSD and schizoaffective disorder require constant self-regulation and support.


Robert came to Key Campus last September, determined to break the cycle and motivated to create a comfortable life for himself. He's incredibly social, with a silly sense of humor and a nervous, endearing smile.

When he first met with his Keys to Change Navigator, Natasha, he showed her his journal – in it, an exhaustive list of all of his sensory and social triggers. He says that when it's written out, it seems more manageable. “She told me that no matter what happens, she’s not going to let me slip through the cracks,” said Robert.

Together, he and Natasha advocated with his clinic to stabilize his medications. To manage stress, they tried out different coping mechanisms, until he found one that stuck. Now, coloring with colored pencils is his preferred meditation. Robert describes it as something that improves his mood, and helps him put better structure around his thoughts.

In their regular meetings, Natasha and Robert worked on a housing plan, and Natasha introduced Robert to resources that he could use beyond his stay at the Key Campus. He absorbed the information like a sponge and is now human encyclopedia of addresses, schedules, and contact information for food banks, counseling services, and support providers.

Robert moved from overflow shelter to bridge housing, where he continued to work with Natasha to hone life skills and perfect his coping routines. This was the interruption he needed to break a decades-long cycle - a new and hopeful trajectory. With expert guidance and a roof overhead, Robert has been stacking little wins on top of little wins - and his persistence is paying off.

Robert is now in permanent supportive housing – a place to call home, for the long haul. He wants to shout out some of the staff and organizations who have helped him on his journey. Aimee and Joe at the Brian Garcia Welcome Center, Holly from Community Bridges, Miles from AZ Pet Project, and of course - Natasha. 

When asked what stood out to her about Robert’s journey, Natasha’s eyes welled with tears. “People had given up on him. Even professionals underestimated him. He just kept at it, he stayed motivated. It’s a daily thing. Seeing him gain his independence and confidence makes me so proud.” 

With Robert’s diagnoses, he will likely always need some level of community support. Yet his homelessness is solvable. At Keys to Change, we make it a priority to identify and fill the cracks in the system. Whatever happens, Robert knows that he has allies at Keys to Change, who understand that not all journeys are linear, and no two journeys look the same.

These days, Robert’s proving to his doubters that he has what it takes. He's always dreamed of having a dog - now Abbie (pictured below) is always by his side. He enjoys cooking at home, and colors regularly - filling book after book. Lucky for us, he still visits Campus often, where he stays plugged in with services and in touch with friends on staff.

Thank you, Robert for sharing your story – we'll check back in soon!  

Volunteers Needed at June 27th Event

What is Project Connect? Project Connect is a one-day homeless services event. A true community effort to provide services where they're needed most - including ID replacements, pet care and pet supplies, mental and behavioral health services, haircuts and showers, housing applications, a hot meal, and more.

Sign me up!

June 1st is This Month's Donation Drop Off!

Saturday, June 1

9:00am - noon

1300 W Harrison Street

Phoenix, AZ 85007

Donate bottled water, electrolyte packets, socks, hats, sunscreen, and other heat relief items. Pull up to our tent, we'll unload for you, and you're good to go!


ICYMI: McQuaid Mission

It Happens at STN McQuaid Mission

Season 2, Episode 8


Be Like Mike.

Mission: Using the power of collaboration to create solutions to end homelessness


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Human Services Campus dba Keys to Change | 204 S. 12th Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85007 | 602.282.0853 | www.hsc-az.org

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