Stand Down to assist veterans, homeless

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Dawn Burleigh, Editor

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


Stand Down has returned to Orange for the second time in an effort to assist veterans and homeless veterans. The event is to give them an opportunity to ‘stand down’ while learning about non-profits which provide services to homeless veterans and veterans.

This is for all veterans, but many of the resources are geared towards homeless veterans to lack access to these services,” Muria Nisbett, with the Jefferson County Vet Center, said. “All homeless resident are also welcome to attend even if they are not a veteran, and they can receive supplies and resources that apply to them.”

To ensure all those in need have access to the event, there are two pick up locations for those without transportation:

  •  VFW Post 2775- 5303 N 16th Street in Orange and
  • Vet Services Office 10984 FM 1442 in Orange

Pick Up Time for each location: 9:30 a.m.

The original Stand Down for homeless veterans was modeled after the Stand Down concept used during the Vietnam War to provide a safe retreat for units returning from combat operations. At secure base camp areas, troops were able to take care of personal hygiene, get clean uniforms, enjoy warm meals, receive medical and dental care, mail and receive letters, and enjoy the camaraderie of friends in a safe environment. Stand Down afforded battle-weary soldiers the opportunity to renew their spirit, health and overall sense of well-being.

That is the purpose of the Stand Down for homeless veterans, and achieving those objectives requires a wide range of support services and time,” Nisbett said. “The program is successful because it brings these services to one location, making them more accessible to homeless veterans.”

Since the first Stand Down in San Diego in 1988, the program has become recognized as the most valuable outreach tool to help homeless veterans in the nation today.

“There are many homeless veterans in this area and the stand down is crucial to reaching them and providing much-needed services and resources that they may not otherwise be able to access,” Nisbett said.

At the event, veterans will find services such as:

  • Clothing
  • Shelter/Housing information
  • Information for the disabled
  • Medical screenings
  • Legal services
  • Haircuts
  • Certification for eligibility
  • VA Claims and Benefit information
  • Substance Abuse Treatment information
  • HIV/AIDS information
  • SNAP (food stamps) information
  • Help with DD214
  • Services for women veterans
  • Survival benefits
  • Free duffle bags (for those that qualify)
  • 25 -plus non-profits that provide services to homeless veterans and veterans.

Veterans will need to bring a form of identification such as a Texas driver’s license, an ID card, Military ID, or SS Card.

Military (or Department of Defense) surplus is reserved for homeless veterans. Proof of service is required by DD-214 or Veterans ID.

Resources offered at the Veterans Stand Down and Health Fair are two-fold – either getting homeless veterans back into the mainstream, or at least providing tools to be productive and start getting there.

For more information on the upcoming Stand Down in Orange, call the Jefferson County Veterans Center at (409) 347-0124.