Lee Crossley Veteran Housing Community

The Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity held a ground-breaking ceremony for the Lee Crossley Veteran’s Community on Saturday, March 3, 2018. The organization plans to build 13 duplexes to house 26 homeless veterans in the now lot located at Hope Street and 38th Street in Temple, Temple.  Sonjanette Crossley, the widow of Lee Crossley and President of Citizens For Progress, said the opening prayer and spoke at the Groundbreaking event.  She has also shared some information about her late husband.


“Lee passed away in 2014 after a battle with cancer. My husband said that he won the battle because he got to graduate to Heaven. He was a Vietnam veteran, and he was always thankful that he served when he did. My husband always believed that our life is our ministry – we get a chance to minister and help people every single day,” explained Crossley. “Veterans don’t need a handout – they need a hand up. Every veteran who walks on this ground will never be the same – they will be changed positively.”

Lee Crossley Biography

Lee was born and raised in Benton, Arkansas on November 23, 1946.  He was drafted in the U.S. Army February 25, 1969 and served until February 21, 1971.  He re-enlisted on August 27, 1974 and served until August 26, 1977.  He also served an additional five years in the U.S. Army Reserves and the Texas National Guard in Co G 949th Maintenance Bn.   While enlisted in the Army he served in Co B 1st Bn 327th Infantry during his tour in Vietnam.   When he re-enlisted he became a chaplain’s assistant and was assigned to Co B 2/22 HHC 2d ARMD Division Forscom.  He was honorably discharged August 26, 1977 as an E-5 (Sp 5) at Fort Hood, Texas.


  • Light weapons infantry specialty

  • Combat infantry badge

  • National Defense Service Medal

  • Good Conduct Medal

  • Vietnam Service Medal w/2 Bronze Service Stars

  • Republic of Vietnam Champaign Medal w/60 device

  • Army Commendation Medal as Chaplain’s Assistant



He met and married Sonjanette Bailey on December 18, 1976 in Temple, Texas and was the proud father of three children:  Aadrien (Latasha), Lionell and Alisa Crossley and one grandson, Maki.  They were married 38 years until his demise on July 7, 2014.  He was the pastor of the First Church of God in Christ, Temple, Texas where he served for 24 years. He was also an anointed musician for most of his adult life and served in many ministries, beginning in his home town.  He retired from the Central Texas Veteran’s Healthcare System on July 31, 2006 with 31 years of civil service as a Medical Administrative Assistant.  Dr. Crossley earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in Clinical Pastoral Counseling from the Minnesota Graduate School of Theology.  He completed two years of training in Clinical Pastoral Education at Scott and White Hospital, Temple, Texas.  He was a member of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (a national organization).  Additionally, he was an Instructor at the Institute for Teaching God’s Word Theological Seminary, Rockdale, Texas.



  • He served as a volunteer Police Chaplain for several years.

  • He co-founded Citizen’s for Progress, Inc., Temple, Texas in 2000 (non-profit organization).

  • He served as the vice-president of the Temple Unit NAACP for a year.

  • He was a member of LULAC Council 4971 for several years.

  • He was a past member of the Temple Area Co-Ed Ministerial Association.

  • He was a member of a local interdenominational pastors prayer group.


Dr. Crossley was a man of compassion and had a life-long hunger to excel personally and to help his fellowman do likewise.  He made many contributions in advocating for progress, redevelopment, and growth in East Temple and for its residents. 

The Lee Crossley Veteran’s Community will be comprised of 13 buildings that will be divided into duplexes. We are planning to build a community center that will have washers, dryers, large tables for community meals, and just a common space for the residents to get together. This community is a combined effort between many companies and organizations. Central Texas Organizations such as Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity, Keep Temple Beautiful, and PatCo Construction have come together to help bring people together, communities together, and we build hope. This is just the first step in putting an end to veterans living on the street. Every veteran deserves a home. Every veteran also deserves a welcome home, and we are striving to achieve this effort with the new community. We have over 500 homeless veterans right here in Central Texas, and this will be the first community of its kind. Many businesses that have come on board to assist with this endeavor.  Some of the businesses include Budget Blinds, Ellis Air, Carothers, Martin Marietta, First Community Title, Springs Window Fashionsetc. 


The Lee Crossley Veteran’s Community has the potential to change the lives of homeless veterans in our community. There is an ongoing need for more help – especially the need for more local builders to become involved in this project. Volunteers, builders, businesses, organizations, anyone willing to lend a hand can find more information with Keep Temple Beautiful, on Facebook @forthoodarea.habitat or online at https://www.fhahfh.org/ . Contact can be made through Facebook, by emailing habitat@fhahf.org or by calling (254)680-4007 during business hours.