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Helping a Homeless Veteran Beaten to the Point of Hospitalization

HAZLETON -- A homeless veteran beaten to the point of hospitalization last week has people coming together to give him a helping hand.

Slimmer, a homeless Marine veteran, said he's had people help him while he was down on his luck in the past but never anything like this.

It's harder for him to get around Sisters Restaurant in Hazleton this week, but he has found strength in support.

"You can't kill a Marine sniper. It takes a lot," Slimmer said laughing. "You've got to keep trying."

Slimmer said he was beaten so badly on Broad Street last week that he needed to be rushed to the hospital.

Officers said Burt Peltz clubbed Slimmer for two hours. Peltz is now locked up on assault charges.

"For no reason they attacked me. How do I feel? I don't feel so good about that, you know what I mean?" Slimmer said.

However, Gina Carrelli, the manager of Sisters Restaurant, took Slimmer under her wing. She said she couldn't stand to see him on the streets again.

"I've been blessed in my life," Carrelli said through tears. "If I could help somebody, I do. Sometimes it doesn't work for me, but oh well."

Slimmer is also getting help from people who have been in his shoes.

Army veteran Shelton Miles is working to find Slimmer a permanent place to call home through the nonprofit Hope for Veterans.

"At one point I was homeless, and Hope for Veterans, this same organization, took me off the street," Miles said.

Hope for Veterans will also pay for three months rent, help him find a job, and give Slimmer a case worker to make sure he is in the system and stays on the right path.

"It takes time and patience and this is what our case manager does. They have patience with these guys and they work with them hand in hand," Miles said.

Slimmer said it just goes to show you, even in the darkest times a light can shine.

"They are great. I couldn't express enough gratitude, you know?" Slimmer said.

"I do this because I have 13 nieces and nephews and I wouldn't want anyone to treat them like that," Carrelli said.

Slimmer said this could be the turning point in his life that he has needed for quite some time.

11 comments

  • August

    Poor veteran, now he will be used and abused by Hope for Veterans…a poverty pimp that will viciously slander him as crazy, addicted, and alcoholic in order to pad their pockets off all available funding streams in his name.

  • El Ma

    Derogatory comments about homeless people never cease to amaze me. Nearly every person that I know is living on a thin economic line from paycheck to paycheck, and it can take just one catastrophe to render a person homeless in today’s economy.

    For Veterans, it’s typically a desperate existence. They’ve been exposed to chemicals and compounds that make them sick, they’re suffering from PTSD, and they have a very difficult time pulling their lives back together, particularly the Veterans of the Viet Nam era. Those people didn’t join up – they were drafted and forced to serve or go to prison.

    Perhaps, that’s what our current generation needs to experience: being forced to do something very unpleasant that they don’t necessarily want to do. Let’s see how well they get along without their smart phones and Starbucks lattes.

  • LONGGREYSOCKS

    Hazleton a dangerous place. I would never walk those streets, like i do in Frackville. Frackvilles Been good to me. The back alleys are good for night walking. But That hazleton is a no good city. Everyday a beating or shooting.

  • Bob Smith

    It happened, I’ve seen and heard anywhere. People would do anything unkind and hateful to homeless. But, I’m glad he’s into a special program for veterans.

  • El Ma

    I don’t understand the entertainment factor in beating up homeless people. Is this some sort of sick game, or something? Someone’s recording the whole vent to post to FaceTube?

    Rock on, Slimmer. Rock on.

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