Some of our clients’ stories are almost too sad to tell. Benjamin Anderson came to the Housing Crisis Center in 2009. He has battled repeated bouts of cancer, possibly from being exposed to radiation while serving our country in the Marine Corps. After returning to civilian life, he found employment—then broke his back on the job. Then, because of the previous cancer diagnosis, he was denied Workman’s Compensation! Think it can’t get any worse? Read on.
A couple of years later, his ex-wife and one of his daughters were killed by a drunk driver. He was left as the sole support for his surviving daughter, A’naijah, who was 5 at the time. This new responsibility gave him a reason to live. Realizing that providing some normalcy for his daughter would be one of the best things he could do after her traumatic loss, he kept his daughter in the same school, even though it meant driving across town twice a day. He finally received Social Security disability, but has had to fight for his veteran’s benefits.
Surprisingly, this story does have a happy ending. Several Dallas agencies heard about Benjamin’s story and combined forces to grant him his greatest wish: a home of his own. A’naijah, who’s now in the third grade, never misses a day of school. One day last spring, Mr. Anderson went to A’naijah’s school, thinking he was attending an awards ceremony. He discovered he was the guest of honor! As part of their Homes4Heroes program, Rebuilding Together Dallas partnered with HomeVestors (you might know them as the “We Buy Ugly Houses” people) to find a home near the VA for Ben and A’naijah, decorated courtesy of Dwell With Dignity.
Since that story was reported in April, Mr. Anderson and A’naijah have received the keys to their new home! You won’t believe these before and after photos.
Hats off to Rebuillding Together Greater Dallas, HomeVestors, and Dwell with Dignity, and the other folks who made this dream a reality for a truly deserving family.