Retired U.S. Navy Captain David Schnell, a decorated officer with more than 25 years of experience, now helps people in need of food as executive director of Christ Kitchen, a San Diego-based nonprofit. Over his tenure in military service, Captain David Schnell commanded a number of ships, including the U.S.S. Ford, an Oliver Hazard Perry-class vessel.
A type of ship designed to combat enemy submarines, the Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate (FFG) also includes anti-aircraft weaponry that permits it to attack enemies both above and below. The Navy envisioned this class to function as an escort craft for key assets like carrier battle groups as they moved across open water on their missions.
Though Oliver Hazard Perry-class ships in the Navy have all been decommissioned, many foreign-owned-and-built versions of these ships are still in active service. For example, two presently serve the Australians under the names H.M.A.S. Melbourne and H.M.A.S. Newcastle.
A decorated United States Navy officer, Captain David Schnell assumed command of the USS Peleliu (LHA 5) on September 4, 2009, during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the Tarawa-class amphibious assault vessel. The ship’s 19th commanding officer and its first surface warfare officer, Captain David Schnell was serving as the Peleliu’s commanding officer during the 2010 floods that affected a full one-fifth of Pakistan’s total land area.
During the crew’s 18-month mission to embark, deploy, and land U.S. Marine Corps troops in support of U.S. military action abroad, it was called upon by the government of Pakistan to assist in aid relief to the country’s flooded Arabian Sea coast. The crew delivered goods and emergency supplies to the towns and villages in need with the assistance of Pakistan’s government and military. In total, the U.S. military helped rescue more than 3,000 people and moved nearly 150,000 kilograms of supplies into the country.
Having been honorably discharged after 27 years in the US Navy, Captain David Schnell is currently general manager of Americas Commercial & State Transportation Group’s Los Angeles Express Lanes. Also interested in charity and helping others, Captain David Schnell serves as executive director of Christ Kitchen, a nonprofit organization devoted to feeding those in need in the greater San Diego area.
In 2015, homelessness in San Diego County rose by 2.8 percent from the previous year, and by 26 percent in downtown San Diego alone. Downtown homeless shelters saw a 123 percent rise in people without homes seeking shelter and services. San Diego has become the US city with the fourth largest population of people without homes.
The reason for the rise is unclear. While it is possible that there were simply errors in data gathering, increasing housing prices have been cited as a major reason for forcing people out of homes. Over 60 percent of individuals without homes are from outside San Diego County. Authorities are seeking greater federal funding to keep up with the influx.
A retired US Navy officer and warship commander, Captain David Schnell now maintains responsibilities as the vice president of operations for the Electronic Tolling Collection division of Xerox’s Americas Commercial and State Government Transportation Group (ACGST). Captain David Schnell balances his professional responsibilities with his dedication to a number of charitable organizations, including his role as a board member of Walden Family Services.
While it focuses primarily on foster care placement and adoption services, Walden also offers various programs for teens and emancipated foster youth, such as the Cal-Learn Program. A statewide program, Cal-Learn works with pregnant and parenting teens in an effort to help them complete their high school education, become independent, and raise a healthy family.
When teens join Cal-Learn, they are connected with a Walden case manager, who is responsible for helping them establish goals and secure the resources necessary to earn a GED or graduate from high school. The case managers also provide comprehensive support services as they work with teen parents and their families to overcome everyday challenges. By meeting with a case manager and completing life tasks, Cal-Learn participants earn “Parenting Bucks” that they can use to purchase important parenting items at Walden’s Teen Store.