In 24 years, I have never forgotten to say "Happy Birthday" to the man that helped shape and mold me into a big part of who I am today...Even through my troubled times, it was words remembered that helped me get past it.
I was 16 when I met a stranger at my mother's funeral. He took me in and raised me... Asking nothing in return but to love myself and to love God... To the Man I refer to as dad, I want to say "Thank you".
You rock and I love ya Joe.
Finding the St. Francis House really changed my entire life. Addicted to drugs and then finally completing my time in rehab, I knew that going back to my old environment was the worst option for me.
Joe offered me an opportunity to live at The St. Francis House in Brooklyn New York with other guys who were really trying to live a Christ Centered life and nurturing spiritual growth . I learned both by discussion and example about the place of a loving God in my life. We attend mass together and pray before every meal. The importance of prayer is emphasized daily. This is where I learned self confidence, social and working skills to become a productive, responsible adult.
I don’t know where I would be if it were not for the St.Francis House. I was only 10 when I became an orphan. My father was never in the picture and my mother passed away from AIDS. My four siblings and I grew up in the projects, and shelters, places you only see in the movies.
Drug use was a common issue for my mother, it eventually caught up to her.
So there I was at her funeral with no shoes on my feet and a gentleman by the name of Joe Campo approached me and asked my name.
Who would have known 27 years later I would be calling him my father. Joe and the house gave me the tools I needed such as discipline, respect, and a sense of purpose. Taking in what I was taught I went from a poor child with no shoes to a home owner, husband and the greatest joy of being a father myself. My son now has a grand papa in Joe and it’s all thanks to the St. Francis House .