Do you need Stand Down services? Or are you willing to help create successful events for homeless veterans? Even though parts of the country aren’t quite out of winter weather, annual Stand Downs are gearing up. As spring and summer fully arrive, the number of events will increase.
Stand Downs, which last from one to three days, provide a long list of services, all in one location. Legal assistance, haircuts, personal care supplies, counseling on Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, clothing, information about housing, dental screenings … they offer all this, usually right at one of the VA facilities across the country. Counseling is available as well for mental health concerns, plus substance abuse, health care information and referrals, and much more.
Perhaps you don’t need the services but can offer your help instead, especially if you’re a member of a veterans’ group. Great. Contact organizers in your area and volunteer. They’ll need drivers, set up, donations of personal care items, you name it. Ask what you can do.
If you plan to go to a Stand Down to access services, bring your DD-214 or its equivalent, plus your VA medical card if you have one. If you need a way to get there, sign up for transportation in advance. If you need housing services, or if you are homeless now and there is no Stand Down coming up in your area, contact National Coalition for Homeless Veterans www.nchv.org at 1-877-424-3838. If you have a housing emergency (you’re about to be homeless), you can call 24/7. Visit its website and look through the dropdown menu across the top.
To see the list of Stand Downs in your area, go to www.va.gov/homeless/events.asp and scroll down the page. You’ll see the location, as well as two contacts with email and phone numbers for each one.
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