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12/17/2015 09:01 am ET

Homeless Jedi Aims To Be A Force On Portland Streets

"Right now I’m picking up trash."

Ace Venom describes himself as a Jedi, but he doesn't live "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. . ."

The 32-year-old lives with his fiancee on a truck in the streets of Portland, Oregon.

"A while back our rent was raised," Venom told filmmaker Christopher Stoudt in a new documentary short. "We’ve both got jobs, make decent money, but it’s just too expensive to live in an apartment these days."

 

Christopher Stoudt

Life may not be easy for Venom -- who legally changed his name in 2007 -- but the lessons he has learned from "Star Wars" have helped him even when the Force seemed to be against him.

"Before I came into Jediism, I was really, really selfish. I would be what we consider a Sith. And so I started exploring Jediism," Venom said.

Venom is now an active member at the Temple Of The Jedi Force, an Internet church that helps faithful Star Wars fans apply lessons from the film to real life.

"It’s all about your focus. Are you looking for the good in life or are you looking for the bad? As Qui-Gon Jinn said in the prequel ('Star Wars Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace'), 'Your focus determines your reality.'"

Christopher Stoudt

As part of his faith, Venom says he intentionally places himself in situations where he can positively impact peoples’ lives.

"Right now I’m picking up trash," he said. "I walk this route as a service to my community so that I can help out and someone else doesn’t have to do it. I’m making a big impact by being neighborly, as they like to say in the South and some places."

Christopher Stoudt
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