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Today is 04.02.2020

Homeless Brevard Vet Finds Way To Get Life Back On Track | Cocoa, Florida | Florida Today

Philip Campbell would trek from his primitive, tarp-covered camp hidden in the thick brush in Cocoa to a nearby gas station every day. There, he was allowed to use the Internet connection to do college classwork.

After getting to know him, the owners of the gas station and convenience store offered Campbell a job. Soon after that, the U.S. Marine Corps veteran began to have hope that he could beat homelessness. And he did, thanks to the kindness of several in the community.

“If I can do it, you can, because I’m not that smart,” he said, sitting at a picnic table outside the store.

In the three months since gaining employment, Campbell has not only emerged from more than a year of living in the woods, but he also continues his work at the convenience store and his schooling at Brevard Community College. His story moved someone he never met to donate a car to him earlier this month.

Campbell, 50, was among the hundreds of homeless veterans who live in woods, alleys and abandoned structures in Brevard County. Many of them, like Campbell, have had brushes with the criminal justice system, or have experienced mental health issues that compound their ability to get out of homelessness.

It is estimated that 600 to 700 homeless veterans live in Brevard, and about 107,000 across the nation are without a place to call home.

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via Florida Today