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DADs minister to homeless at Library Park

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DADs minister to homeless at Library Park

Timothy “TJ” Welsh, a science teacher with the San Joaquin County Office of Education and pastor of Manteca Church of God on South Street, prays with a homeless man at the Manteca Library Park on T...

ROSE ALBANO RISSO/The Bulletin


POSTED August 9, 2014 12:48 a.m.

Guy Westbrock knows the plight of the homeless only too well. And he understands the demons of drug addiction.

He’d been there, done that.

Now, he has put all that behind him. He has found a “higher power…; that’s Jesus, of course,” he said. That’s how he was able to turn his life around. And that’s what inspired him to pay forward what God has done to him and came up with the idea of DAD – Dads Against Drugs – a ministry that “the lord gave to me 15 years ago,” he said.

The idea took hold while he was ministering to the homeless at the “homeless park” in Modesto on the corner of 17th and H streets, near the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

“I lived on the church grounds and was helping people get out of the (homeless) park,” he said.

He saw “many people get out of the park, and I gave glory, honor and praise to my father in heaven,” Westbrock said.

“But the ministry stopped when we moved to Manteca. We’ve been here for about eight years. Then the Lord laid in my heart to start it up,” he recalled.

But getting DAD officially off the ground and setting up the legal work to give it non-profit, tax-exempt status required money, which he didn’t have. So he prayed, “Lord, you have to come up with the money, and sure enough, he did,” Westbrock said.

Somebody learned about what they were trying to do and offered to pony up the money, he said.

He and other DAD volunteers have been ministering to people throughout the city for a number of years. This year, they started going to the library on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. until about 11:30 a.m. But that usually depends on how many of their target people are there.

“Today, when the cops showed up, everybody kind of scooted out of there because they don’t want to get busted, because most of them are carrying drugs with them,” Westbrock said.

“We’ve given them food and water, possibly clothing if need be. Wintertime, what I would like is for them to be in houses, the ones that really want to change,” he said.

What he really likes to do is “go over there (at the library) and talk to the people, find out about them, become friends with them, and ask them why they’re out there, because there’s usually something that landed them into this situation,” Westbrock said. “For instance, when I was in Modesto, there was a guy that would sleep by the fellowship hall when it was raining, and I would have to step over him to get into the hall to clean it.”

He worked full-time and did this as a part-time job.

“About the sixth day, I asked, ‘why are you here?’ And he said, ‘Well, my wife died. She was my life.’ And he had turned to drugs to try to fill the void, and he became an alcoholic and drug addict at the same time. It takes a lot of care ministering to them,” said Westbrook who saw himself in what the man was going through.

“When I accepted Jesus into my heart, my life started to change. That’s when I got involved with helping other people with addictions that I went through,” he said.

Timothy “TJ” Welsh, pastor of Manteca Church of God at 149 South Street has become an active DAD volunteer ministering to the homeless, not just in Manteca but throughout Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties and elsewhere their ministry may be needed.

“We go to the homeless shelter in Modesto, Gospel Mission; we go all over the place,” said Westbrock who, with wife, Letty, have two daughters – Natalie, 20, who is attending Pacific Union College, and Valerie, 16, who attends a Christian high school in Modesto. His wife works for the county in Stockton.

For more information about DAD Ministry, call Guy Westbrock at 209.825.1965.

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