It didn’t take Rob long to feel connected to his current neighbourhood when he moved there nearly four years ago.
Rob, who has been supported by Epic Opportunities through its Supported Independent Living program since 1987, quickly got to know many of his neighbours during frequent walks with his dog Sox through the west Winnipeg neighbourhood and during visits to an area park.
Today, he is on a first name basis with many of those same neighbours, a number of whom help him with clearing snow and other household chores or just stop to say hello when they see him.
That sense of sociability doesn’t come as much of a surprise to people who know Rob. In fact, it’s an integral part of who he is, says the manager of Epic’s SIL program.
“Rob will remember you after meeting you just one time,” says Fran Schulz, who originally got to know Rob as one of his support workers. “He’s really sociable and very kind-hearted. He would help anybody out. When we used to go to the bank together he would always open the door for me. He’s just a real gentleman.”
Rob’s current neighbourhood is far different from the one he spent a good portion of his life in. He was placed in the Manitoba Developmental Centre in Portage la Prairie at a young age and lived there for about 35 years until moving to Winnipeg. He spent several years living in the city’s North End prior to moving into his current home.
When he isn’t touring his neighbourhood with Sox, whom he adopted as a pup, Rob can often be found at his local Tim Hortons. He also enjoys spending time with family and is also a regular visitor at the Hope Centre Clinic, where he knows most of the staff by name and will often enjoy a laugh or cup of coffee with them. Rob remains close with his friend Rodney, whom he met when they both lived in Portage and plans to visit him in Gimli next summer.
While Rob enjoys exercising and reading the newspaper, his favourite pastime is watching movies. He has an extensive DVD and VHS movie collection that includes hundreds of titles from superhero films such as Batman, Superman and Spiderman to classic horror flicks like Frankenstein and Halloween.
Although he may not be quite as agile as your friendly neighbourhood webslinger, Rob is far more mobile today than he was prior to having his right knee replaced about a year and a half ago. Despite some initial discomfort following the surgery, he is now relatively pain-free and has regained much of his mobility.
Rob has extensive experience working in the restaurant industry including stints as an attendant at Robin’s, Coffee Time, McDonald’s and Burger King. He also worked as a janitor at Keystone Christian School.