Ask Roger how he’s doing and he’ll tell you he’s “too blessed to be stressed.” One of ten children, he spent some of his early years in juvenile detention and most of his adult life sleeping on the streets of Nashville or on the couches and porches of friends.
As Roger tells it, he did "a lot of bad stuff back in the day.” He says it wasn’t until he was in an accident and “God stepped in” that he was able to turn himself around. “I was in a coma for a long time," he says, “and when I woke up, that’s when I noticed I was rhyming words. I’d never done that before.” According to his brother, the most obvious side effect of Roger’s accident was his sudden desire to write songs. He’d never crafted a rhyme or written a country song before the accident and today, he writes them regularly in a beat up spiral notebook which he loses periodically on the bus. Roger never met a stranger. He is a natural comedian and those who meet him are often charmed by his candid demeanor.
After years of experiencing homelessness, Roger came to Park Center on his own and asked for help. He needed, as he put it “someone with knowledge from college” to help him find a place to live. While Park Center's Homeless Outreach staff were busy trying to make that happen, Roger entertained everyone with his colorful stories and a country-rap style of singing that no one had ever heard before. Beyond the music, Roger’s goals are to help other homeless people whenever he can and to “learn to be a better speller”. Last year, he attended a few classes at the Council on Adult Literacy and has plans to return there now that he has his own place and life has settled down. After ten months and an illness that nearly took his life, Roger secured housing through Park Center's Residential Services program. Today, he checks in regularly with the staff and Homeless Outreach staff love to see him coming, hoping they'll get to hear a new "Rogerism" but knowing there's a great laugh in their future.
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