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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Weller’s Homeless Story No. 14

 Steve and Regina Weller Chaplains of the LAPD Homeless Task Force.

Steve and Regina Weller Chaplains of the LAPD Homeless Task Force.

Note: The Wellers have rescued more than 200 homeless people in the area this year. They have taken these people, not only off the street, but have put them in the direction of productive living. They at first used their pensions but Mark Ryavec and Venice Stakeholders started to help along with some other individuals. Venice Update, thanks to Regina, was able to tell some of stories of the homeless — put a face on the number. Tami Pardee and Pardee Properties entered the scene and helped.

If you wish to contribute, send check to Foursquare Chaplains, 1400 Rivera Ave, Venice CA 90291. Your donations are deductible and 100 percent used for homeless.

Sarge
By Regina Weller

Sarge

The homeless drunks were piled up on the corner of Washington and Lincoln Blvd by the 7 Eleven store. My husband and I always noticed them there when we drove by. Chaplain Steve often stopped to visit with them to offer various services, including a drive over to the VA for those who were veterans. Steve is also a veteran, so he can easily relate to the vets on the street.

Over a few months time, Steve got to know the Marine Corps Staff Sergeant known as “Sarge,” who for 7 years slept on the hard cement behind the donut shop and sometimes alternated for the sand at the Venice Pier. One day in July, the Sergeant explained to the Chaplain that he had started his career in the Marine Corps in 1993 and had completed 3 tours in Iraq. During his last tour of duty, his friend was killed and he himself was shot in the stomach and lost some of his intestines and his spleen. Sarge lifted his shirt to reveal the scars to Steve and stated that he suffered from PTSD. In addition, he had been exposed to depleted uranium from the war zone which caused nerve damage in his left leg. He left the military in 2003 with an honorable discharge. He mentioned that he had stayed for a short time in the VA domiciliary, but didn’t like it and didn’t want to return.

Because he was adamant about it, Chaplain Steve offered him another option, “Let me take you to a private medical detox in San Pedro and I’ll pay for it.” Sarge paused for a bit, and then accepted the offer. Chaplain Steve and two LAPD officers escorted Sarge to a 10-day medical detox program. Upon completion of the program, he entered shared housing where he remains today. Sarge has since made multiple bus trips to visit Steve, however today we contacted him as part of our follow-up care. He stated that he really likes the House Manager (an ex-coach) where he lives and prefers San Pedro to Venice. He is sober and enjoying the sober lifestyle. We asked him if we could contribute his success story to the “Venice Forward” group as part of the work of the Venice Foursquare Chaplains/Homeless Task Force. He graciously said yes, and asked that this photo from a past local Venice beach blog be included in the story and added, “Tell them, this is where I came from”.

We salute Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Christian Warren and all US Veterans for their courage and their sacrificial contribution in service to our nation.

Comments (3)

  1. Tim

    Hey, thank you for posting this. Christian is a great guy who helped me more than I can explain when I was homeless in Venice. I got sober back in 2009 and couldn’t go back to visit so I’m really glad to hear he made it out with your help. Hope he’s still doing well. Thank you for doing what you do!

  2. Dot

    Kudos to these Angels (Wellers) in taking the first step to listen then help others in their specific needs in the homeless community. We all could do so much more to be a “good Samaritan” in caring for our fellow man.

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