The concept of the “Stand Down” originates from the Vietnam War when units were given respite away from combat operations – it’s used now as a way to provide services, benefits and camaraderie to veterans who are homeless or to help other veterans at risk of homelessness.
There’s a long history of Stand Downs for homeless veterans which originated in San Diego in 1988. It’s a movement that’s spread nationwide and coordinated through the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans. Some last for two or three days, while others may consist of a health or jobs fair.
The Bay Pines VA Medical Center, 10,000 Bay Pines Blvd., near St. Petersburg, FL, is hosting a one-day Stand Down from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be a range of community agencies and VA staff on hand to answer questions as well as services available for Veterans:
- Free Flue shots
- Dental screenings
- Legal information and services
- VA and community housing programs
- Florida ID Van
- Free breakfast and lunch
- Job and Education opportunities
- Information on a range of VA health care services for women veterans, mental health, PTSD and vocational rehabilitation.
- Door prizes including four new bicycles with lights and locks
Stand Downs are planned Friday, Oct. 21, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, at two other locations:
- Ft. Walton Beach, FL
- Huntsville, AL
You can learn more about those gatherings and find a schedule of the remaining 2011 Stand Downs for Homeless Veterans HERE.
Filed under: Homelessness, Non-Profit Organizations, Veterans, Veterans Administration, Women Veterans | Tagged: Bay Pines VA Health Care System, homeless veterans, Homelessness, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Stand Down, Veteran |