Category Archives: Stand Down

Stand Down for Homeless Veterans – Latham, NY

Stand Down lifts up homeless and needy veterans

TV News Article: See article and video here 

LATHAM, NY– Wars may change but the needs of those who return from the fighting do not. Hundreds of veterans from Vietnam, the first Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq are expected to attend the 18th Annual Stand Down for Homeless Vets this weekend. 300 veterans who are homeless or close to being homeless will be matched with services that can, hopefully, get them back on track.

Larry Turner’s windowless office is where the 55 year old does the work that pays his bills and puts food on his table.  “I just love my job a lot. It just has to do with giving back,” he said

Turner helps veterans down on their luck find employment and a place to live for the Albany Housing Coalition. It’s more than a job, because on and off for ten years, Turner himself, was homeless. The former Marine served his country in Vietnam but when he returned, things just weren’t the same.

“Not knowing is scary. You don’t know who to turn to. I mean you are really up against the wall,” said Turner.  That wall turned into an open door for Turner two years ago at the Capital District Veterans Stand Down. It’s a one stop-shop where vets can find jobs and job training, clothes, food, housing and receive free medical help and life counseling.

“These are what makes you and I free, that makes America what it is. They’ve just fallen on hard times for a little bit and we’re hoping they can regroup and we can send them back to the community,” said Stand Down organizer Doug Williams.

The community vets like Larry Turner want to be a part of. Some just need a little assistance.   “They serve their country, as I did. And it’s only right that we help those who are less fortunate,” he said.

The Stand Down is completely free for veterans. It runs from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday October 13 at the Colonie Elks on Elks Road, just off of Rt. 155 in Latham.

Oldtimer’s comment:  Stand Downs are important as they bring out homeless veterans that otherwise don’t seek services, and are often outside of the VA radar.  Like Larry Turner, many do get help through the services and opportunities presented in Stand Downs.  

The only drawback is these Stand Downs are often held, at most, once a year in any given area and they occur in different places at different times of the year and the window of opportunity is short – in this case only 5 hours.  They need to be held regularly, at least quarterly, and on a fixed schedule across the country.  If a veteran knew that Stand Downs were held on the first Saturday of every 3d month across the country, they would know when to show up wherever they are.

Homeless Veterans – Seldom Noted But All Around Us

A Sampling of Recent Articles

 Volunteers pamper homeless veterans

South Jersey:   Friday’s “Stand Down,” an annual outreach event, attracted nearly 120 homeless military veterans from around the region. And 250 volunteers helped provide them with assistance.  A lot of these people are hurting and they have needs,” said Thomas Weber, chairman of Stand Down of South Jersey Inc. — the organization which helped run the event. “It’s just care for your fellow human beings.”

Those who need help generally suffer from mental health issues, substance abuse and poverty. For many, the issues have become a reality of war. It’s believed that nearly 250,000 veterans are permanently homeless, Weber said.  _____________________________________________________

Military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan could lead to more homeless vets
 

Memphis Tenn: They’ve fought in wars to keep us free and now that they’re home some veterans don’t have a place to lay their head. The guys lined up inside the auditorium at the Veterans Hospital in downtown Memphis are among more than 3,000 veterans in Tennessee who are homeless on any given night. Most suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and some turn to drugs for help.  (…)

The problem of homeless vets isn’t expected to get any better. In fact, the hundreds of thousands serving in Iraq it’s expected that the problem will get worse.  “Here today we’re seeing those from Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom that are among the homeless that have issues. And, I think the thing I look at and those of us who try to address this issue is how in the heck we can prevent it in the first place,” said John Keys, TN Dir. of Veterans Affairs.  _____________________________________________________________

Triad Stand Down aids homeless vets

GREENSBOROMore than 200 homeless veterans were at the North Carolina National Guard Armory in Greensboro, Friday, for the third annual Triad Stand Down.  (…)

“We’ve got vets that are 23, 24-years old that are homeless,” said Archie Barrow. “They get back, they’ve got problems and they can’t conform for whatever reason. I think sometimes the family turns their back on them and society turns their back because they have issues.”   Barrow says one homeless vet is one too many.  ___________________________________________________________

Helping veterans

Indiana HVAF of Indiana has been extending a helping hand to veterans and their families who are down on their luck for nearly 15 years. (…)   The group says there are as many as 900 homeless veterans in Marion County and more than 3,600 in Indiana, based on estimates by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Event seeks to aid homeless veterans

Akron Ohio: The second annual Summit County Stand Down for Homeless/Displaced Veterans 2007 will be held 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Firestone VFW Post 3383, 690 W. Waterloo Road, Akron.  (…)  During the first Stand Down last year, 205 (homeless) veterans came out, ranging in age from 23 to 81,

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Veterans allowed to `Stand Down’ 

San Jose Calif: Former Marine Joseph Martinez smiled warmly Sunday as he shoveled gravel out of a gutter at a retreat for homeless veterans in the Santa Cruz Mountains. (…) Over the weekend, (…), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs tried to do for him, and nearly 200 other homeless vets, what was not done when they first came home – coordinate medical, legal and other services for those who served.________________________________________________

Homeless military veterans recieved weekend care in NE Phila

Philidelphia  Hundreds of homeless military veterans were fed hot meals and given medical exams and cots to sleep on for the weekend “Stand Down” at the National Guard Armory in Northeast Philadelphia.  (…) Some veterans brought their wives and children to the three-day event.   “We served about 10 to 15 little kids today,” said Robert Sander, an Army reservist with the 338th Medical Brigade.

Oldtimer’s Comment:  Thank God for those who care!   The sad thing is that these are 1, 2 or in some cases 3 day events held once a year.  Much better than nothing, but very localized and serving only a small fraction of those in need.   Much more is needed. 

Homelessness among veterans is a much under reported problem.  If you look around there are only a few people in this country paying attention.  When something is done, it is a piddling little in the face of the problem.  43% of all homeless males are veterans.

Please read this overview of the problem

 And if you think this is a recent phenomenon then read this history of abuse.

Our VA is not doing it’s job.

Oldtimer

 

Desert Storm Veteran on the Streets

Vets plagued by homelessness

The following story is out of Lansing, Michigan.  It is the story of a Desert Storm Veteran that hasn’t been able to hold a job in 10 years and is living on the streets, one of about 175 homeless veterans in Lansing. 

Desert Storm Veteran on the Streets
Written by Clay Taylor
Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Find and Read the rest of this story

Willie Moore Jr., a war veteran, wakes up around 5:30 every morning. After some coffee and a glance at the news, he’s ready to start the day. After attending meetings at Michigan Works! and talking to his caseworker at Volunteers of America, he begins looking for a job.

Moore hasn’t held a job for 10 years, but he’s still optimistic about finding one. He takes advantage of services offered to homeless veterans in the Lansing area.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, at least 195,000 veterans were homeless in America in 2006. Veterans are grossly overrepresented in the homeless community, according to Patrick Patterson, VoA’s vice president of operations in Lansing. “One in eight of the general population is a veteran,” Patterson said. “You’ll find vets in the homeless population around 25 percent.” Patterson said that the greater Lansing area plays host to an average 700 homeless individuals on any given day. Roughly 175 of them are veterans.


Willie Moore Jr., one Lansing’s hundreds of homeless vets,
near the Hall of Justice in Lansing, the site of the annual
Stand Down for Veterans service event sponsored last
week by Volunteers of America. (Clay Taylor/City Pulse)

The explanation for the vast amount of homeless veterans stems from three main causes, says Cheryl Beversdorf, president of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. She said some soldiers are hindered by mental illnesses or physical disabilities caused by war trauma or substance abuse. Finding a job is also difficult, as many soldiers joined the service in lieu of attending college and never learned how to prepare a resume and market themselves as potential employees. The third reason is a lack of cheap, safe, affordable housing.

“If you don’t have a job, and you have health problems, trying to find a place to live that is safe and affordable is very difficult,” Beversdorf said.

Moore knows the troubles faced by returning veterans all too well. A veteran of Operation Desert Storm, Moore joined the Army on April 11, 1989, his 24th birthday. His unit, 164th Chemical Company, was preparing to ship out to Saudi Arabia until its orders changed. As a result, Moore never saw combat. He said that he was more disciplined when he returned from duty, and like his high school baseball days, it gave him another chance to wear a uniform.  

There is more to this story, use the link above to find them.

Heroes are out there too

Click “front page” for the rest of Oldtimer’s posts.  You will find links in the blogroll to the right that will select all homeless veteran posts and all homeless youth posts if that is your greater interest.

Oldtimer

Stand Down – Faith Hope Love Charity

I received an invitation from Stand Down FHLC, Inc. that I would like to pass on to you.

their logoStand Down FHLC, Inc operates out of Palm Springs, Florida.   It was founded in 1994 and opened its doors in 2000.  

Stand Down FHLC  is a multi tiered program that assists & supports male veterans who are struggling with addiction & have become homeless as a result of that struggle.   More than 800 veterans have received support from their program.

It operates a 15 bed facility dedicated to homeless veterans and provides 30 – 60 days of residence, food, treatment by staff psychologists, and transportation to the nearest VAMC for substance abuse, medical, and dental treatment.
waving flag gif

  Here is their invitation:

Hold the Date:  

Saturday November 10, 2007

Faith*Hope*Love*Charity, Inc.

presents its first Preeminent

“Take Flight Award Banquet”

 Honoring our Military (Past & Present) 

Crown Plaza – West Palm Beach

1601 Belvedere Road

West Palm Beach, FL 33406  

Meet and Greet Distinguished & Celebrity Guests

 Incredible Silent Auction

Exquisite cuisine

Fantastic Entertainment

Contact Dr. Crockett Or Ms. Rainford

For Additional Information

(561) 968-1612 ext. 13/10  or at Ccrockett@standown.org. 

This is how you minister to Heroes

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