Peer Support Specialist
Roman’s journey to recovery has been a long, rough road. He started using drugs and alcohol at an early age and was in and out of jail after joining local gangs. After his mother passed, when he was in his 30s, Roman found himself homeless and entered a program offered by a shelter that allowed him to gain employment, save money, and move out of town. He tried to start a clean and sober life in this new city but, soon fell into the same using patterns. In 2008, Roman joined the Longest Walk 2, a Native American spiritual walk from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. After the walk, when he found himself lost and homeless once again, a friend offered a place to stay in the Portland area where Roman would soon meet his wife. Roman credits the Longest Walk 2 as the beginning of his recovery journey.
After the walk, Roman’s life changed significantly. With new insights from his experience, Roman was able to earn his GED, get his driver’s license, a car, changed his career path and has celebrated 4 years clean and sober. Roman is now married and enjoying being a father to his two beautiful boys.Today, as a Peer Support Specialist with MHAAO, Roman feels an overwhelming sense of gratitude in his work in providing the peer guidance and support he, himself, needed so long ago.