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Stand down: helping vets get homes and jobs

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Hey, when active service troops leaves the service, they get a little help getting back into the civilian world, but often that's not enough. The result is often that vets can't find jobs and wind up living on the street.

There're a lot of good people working on this, I just heard about the vets Stand Down efforts from the VA.

Stand Downs are one part of the Department of Veterans Affairs' efforts to provide services to homeless veterans. Stand Downs are typically one to three day events providing services to homeless Veterans such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, VA and Social Security benefits counseling, and referrals to a variety of other necessary services, such as housing, employment and substance abuse treatment. Stand Downs are collaborative events, coordinated between local VAs, other government agencies, and community agencies who serve the homeless.

The first Stand Down was organized in 1988 by a group of Vietnam Veterans in San Diego. Since then, Stand Downs have been used as an effective tool in reaching out to homeless Veterans, reaching more than 200,000 Veterans and their family members between 1994-2000.

Here's the deal from Veterans Village of San Diego:

Stand Down will be held in mid-July 2011 when hundreds of homeless veterans will be provided a wide range of necessities including:

  • They will be greeted with respect and open arms
  • They will be offered breakfast and coffee and fresh fruit
  • Picture IDs will be made for those who need them
  • The VA and EDD will assist with registration
  • Tents will be assigned with tent leaders who are there to assist them in accessing services

Their immediate physical needs will be addressed.

  • A visit to the clothing tent
  • Showers
  • Barbers
  • Medical
  • Dental

There are the many other services:

  • Homeless court
  • Counseling
  • Veterans benefits
  • Employment and job counseling services
  • Acupuncture and massage therapy
  • Recovery providers
  • Shelters
  • Chaplains services
  • 12-step meetings for everyone