Homelessness is painful for a lot of different reasons. The worst part of being homeless for Robert was that he was disconnected from his music. “Music has always been my passion,” he says. “I don’t know how I would survive without it.”
Robert lost his home after a house fire years ago. He lived in a shelter for a year while he saved up some money and got an apartment where he lived for several years. But when Robert’s apartment was sold to new owners, the rent shot up and he ended up on the street. “It’s hard, not knowing where you’re going to sleep,” he remembers. “Especially if it’s cold and raining. The hardest part is the next morning, not knowing how to get a shower, how to get clean. It was tough.”
Robert lives with epilepsy and is recovering from a stroke, so having a safe place to heal and recover is important to him. But the most important part of his apartment is the corner where his keyboard sits. Robert struggles to describe how important music is to him: “It’s a feeling I can’t explain. It’s so relaxing. It seems like, when I start playing, I close my eyes and God just guides my fingers. I’ve been a musician all my life. It’s a God-given gift to me, my music. When I play, I’m in my own zone. I’m so happy.”
Watch Robert’s story and hear his original music in the short video at the top of this post.