“This We’ll Defend” is the motto of the United States Army. Lorenzo Campbell joined the Army in 1979 to defend the two most meaningful things in his life: his country and his family.

The Veteran did not anticipate that nearly four decades later, his military service would continue to enable him to protect his family.

I asked for help and I received

Campbell first visited the VA Northern California Health Care System for medical care, including surgery and assistance managing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “I asked for help, and I received,” he said.

Hopes his story resonates with other Veterans facing similar challenges

Years later, Campbell was visiting VA for medical care when he was experiencing another threat to his health: homelessness. His VA social worker wasted no time connecting him with the programs and resources available through VA homeless programs.

Campbell had doubts about his ability to follow through with the application process to secure housing. His self-confidence was low and the challenges his PTSD posed were high. Yet, the Veteran was motivated to act for the same reason he joined the Army – to help his family.

A father’s fortitude

Finding a place to live was more than just finding shelter for Campbell. Securing safe and stable housing would provide the opportunity to regain custody of his children. Campbell felt strongly about being able to do so, saying, “I found myself looking in my son’s eyes and finding the needs he had for me to step up and be a parent.”

With his children as motivators, Campbell began working with caseworkers from VA and Nation’s Finest, a California-based non-profit dedicated to helping Veterans supported by VA’s Grant and Per Diem program. When Campbell shared his goal to reunite with his children, his caseworkers agreed that a house would serve the needs of Campbell and his family better than any apartment could.

If I did it, anyone can do it

Last November, Campbell used his VA Home Loan benefit and became a first-time homeowner.

Campbell acquired more space and a beautiful backyard with the move but his favorite benefit is his roommate — his 13-year-old son. “I only dreamed of this,” Campbell exclaimed, while sitting in his new home. He worked hard to achieve this milestone, and he credits his son with helping around the house and his caseworkers for his new perspective on life.

“I’m not just settling. I can see myself making my own way now. I’m a productive citizen,” he said. “I try to be a good role model for my kid.”

Campbell also hopes his story resonates with other Veterans facing similar challenges. “I tell a lot of the Veterans I come across that if I did it, anyone can do it.”

And he’s right. VA’s programs and new strategic goals will ensure every Veteran can have a safe place to call home in the country they served. This, we’ll defend.

 Learn about VA programs

By Janine Griggs is a clinical program specialist for Grant and Per Diem with the VHA Homeless Programs Office

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Published on May. 25, 2022

Estimated reading time is 3 min.

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9 Comments

  1. Amy Childers June 1, 2022 at 4:01 pm

    This is a wonderful example of how perseverance, hard work and utilizing community supports can achieve the unimaginable. Congratulations Lorenzo!

  2. Terence Wheat May 28, 2022 at 6:43 pm

    Hipp, happened hurray. This is the case with what percentage of veterans. 1 in 1,000,000 with the house, I mean not HUD VASH. More people who did nothing for this country receive better assistance than that, ex., houses for habitat, not blaming them but the all so helpful social workers who can’t seem to network with them. It should be shameful that the VA is on par with America’s suicide rate but treat maybe 10x less patients than any public hospital or social agency.

  3. Terence Wheat May 28, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    The VA always use special cases to act as if they perform such a great service. I was in CWT with WBJ Dorn and my kids mother past away. I went to the funeral and returned to be put out of CWT and retaliated against for exercising my rights. Put through all types of psychological and mental duress, made homeless, lost the relationship with my kids, who were 17 and 15 at the time of their mother’s death. I wanted to commit suicide. This happened in October 2019 and I just got an apartment with them in October of 2021 but the relationship with my kids are long gone. Thanks VA. William Bryan Jennings Dorn VA Hospital in Columbia, SC in particular.

  4. thomas D trottman May 27, 2022 at 11:43 am

    I’m 64 years old and I am disabled and a service connected marine. I have been living in a room for a few years now. I I’ve had a heart attack and I am a cancer survivor. I need a my own apartment but the VA won’t help me because I’m not sleeping in the street. Why do you have to be in the street before you can get any help

  5. Celerino Jasso jr May 27, 2022 at 2:02 am

    Call the VA

  6. Celerino Jasso jr May 27, 2022 at 2:01 am

    End veterans homelessness ask and you shall receive I did and got it.thank God thank the V.A.and my caseworker from HudVadh.

  7. Jonathan Wright May 27, 2022 at 12:29 am

    I was homeless for years but the VA helped me get an apartment. I now have 5 kids and live in a 3 bedroom. Why can’t I get a house?

  8. Gary C Palmer May 26, 2022 at 10:14 pm

    I too was found a apartment after being homeless 43 years. HUD Vash did so two years ago in May 2020.

  9. Benjamin Lance May 26, 2022 at 7:23 pm

    This is fcking bullsht.

    I have P&T PTSD and I’ve only been dismissed by any housing assistance.

    Quit helping one person and proposing it as if this treatment is similar to the treatment all deserving veterans recieve.

    If anything the VA didn’t do sht. The social worker did, and ones that actually know the CFR are hard, if not impossible to find.

Comments are closed.

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