Former Suffolk pitcher helps local veterans

Ally Thibault
Journal Staff

Boston City Councilor Mike Ross (far left), two heroes he helped with their home purchases (middle), and Paul Campano (far right) at the ribbon cutting kick-off Homes for Heroes entrance into Massachusetts.

Former Suffolk University baseball pitcher Paul Campano works with the organization Homes for Heroes to help local veterans. Homes for Heroes strives to help veterans and other local heroes, like police officers and firefighters, find and pay for homes.

Realtors, like Campano, who work with the program donate 25 percent of their commission from the home sale to the hero to help him or her with expenses. The organization offers similar assistance to heroes trying to sell their homes as well.

“Homes for Heroes found me,” Campano said, describing how he first got involved with the organization. He says Homes for Heroes has a much larger program in other states, especially Texas, Florida and other areas with large military bases, but contacted him to expand in Massachusetts.

Campano’s family is full of veterans, including his father and two uncles. His father served in the Army National Guard, his uncle in the Army, and his other uncle in the Coast Guard.

Campano attended a ribbon cutting ceremony on Staniford Street earlier this year that featured a plaque to honor West End residents who sacrificed their lives serving the country. Campano’s uncle is one of those listed.

“I think growing up with my family’s veteran history gave me an appreciation early on for the sacrifices that veterans make,” Campano said.

While a large part of the program is to aid veterans who apply for help on the Homes for Heroes website, Campano says he also spends a lot of time seeking out veterans to help. “Veterans are the last people to look for help,” Campano said. He believes it is a testament to their sense of sacrifice and independence that many of them do not actively seek assistance.

The 25 percent of his income that is donated back to the veteran is very important aspect of the program for Campano. “It not just for a hero, there’s a family behind the veteran too,” Campano said. The money can go towards anything the family wishes but can become crucial when the veteran is deployed again.

Campano enjoys finding one-of-a-kind condos and homes to sell to heroes, like converted firehouses and churches. “Any unique property that makes you think ‘what would you do with that’, I like to sell to heroes. It keeps it interesting for them,” Campano said.

Campano, a Somerville native, pitched for the Rams from 1996-98. After graduating from Suffolk’s Archer Fellow program, he has worked with various real estate companies and has been working at Keller Williams Realty for the past four-and-a-half years.