Day Dedicated to Serving Homeless Veterans Households
On May 22, 2019, the Atlantic City Regional Stand Down event was held at the All Wars Memorial Museum in Atlantic City, NJ. The day was dedicated to serving homeless veterans households.
A variety of free services such as U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, welfare benefits, legal services, housing, employment, haircuts, woman products and services, clothing for men and women, and mental health and addiction counseling were available to homeless veterans.
Deena Foster, a member of Monarch Housing Associates’ Ending Homelessness Team, attended the event and highlights moments from the day.
What did the Regional Stand Down Event entail?
A variety of service organizations come together to focus on different items or services that veterans may need. Some of the organizations that were in attendance included Atlantic County Department of Family and Community Development, Veterans Multi-Service Center, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Camden, NJ Department of Military and Veteran Affairs, New Jersey State Parole Board, The American Legion, American Red Cross, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and New Jersey Hospital Association.
What at the Stand Down Event stood out to you?
They had food and music for the veterans and some of the attendees shared their memories of being in the military. I learned the history of the Stand Down from Milo Hannah, a representative at the Veterans Multi-Service Center. According to Milo, the term “Stand Down” originated during the Vietnam War to describe the practice of removing combat troops from the field and taking care of their basic needs in a safe area.
Stand Downs are typically one- to three-day events providing supplies and services to homeless Veterans, such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings and VA and Social Security benefits counseling. Also, even though this event was catered to Veterans, a lot of the resources were applicable to the homeless population in general.
What is something you think is important for people to know about homeless veterans?
I think people should know that veterans are part of this country’s first defenders in ensuring our protection and freedoms. We (the community) need to be their defenders when they return home by supporting housing opportunities and funding supportive services for homeless veterans.
If you are interested in attending a future Stand Down event, please visit the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans website for a full list of dates and locations.
Click here for a facebook photo album from the event.