Stand Downs: Help for Homeless Vets

by Freddy Groves


At one point this winter, 49 states had snow on the ground. That made it

extra tough on homeless veterans trying to keep warm. The Department of

Veterans Affairs has been working hard to meet its goal of eliminating

veteran homelessness by fiscal year 2015 and getting veterans into

permanent and stable housing, but the need is still great. Stand Downs for

homeless veterans have already started all over the country.

If you’ve never organized or participated in a Stand Down, let this be

the year you step forward. There are many ways to help. Stand Downs span

a variety of types of services. There are three- and four-day events

with shelter, resource fairs lasting one or two days, health fairs and

job fairs. Services offered can range from referrals for employment,

substance-abuse treatment and health care to food, shelter, legal help,

dental services and clothing. Veterans also can get benefits and Social

Security help and counseling.


To participate individually, go online to the National Coalition for

Homeless Veterans ( and look under Service Providers.

To host a Stand Down with your veterans service group, go to the same

website and read the Guide and Overview. Be sure your event is listed

there as well as on the VA site at


Depending on the statistics you read, the number of homeless veterans is

either going up or down — or the veterans are moving to other locations,

altering the count. In any event, there are still too many veterans on the

street. You can help by participating in a Stand Down.


If youÕre a veteran seeking services from a Stand Down event, call

202-461-1857 to find out when one will be held in your area.


Freddy Groves regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions,

but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Send email to


(c) 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

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