Homeless veterans come together in one location for camaraderie, food, clothing, medical, dental, and other services. Veterans are provided access to community resources needed to rebuild their lives. Veterans have the opportunity to connect with other veterans, veterans’ organizations, volunteers and service providers.
Hosting a community Stand Down encourages partnership and collaboration among agencies. It serves as a means of helping communities address their 10 year plan to end homelessness, as well as, promoting awareness and encouraging dialogue on issues relating to homeless and at-risk veterans.
To host a successful Stand Down, a group of dedicated volunteers are needed, along with donors and sponsors, community support, financial support, and strong leaders with great organizational skills.
Serving the Counties of Western North Carolina
The first stand down was held in 1988 in San Diego, California.. The founders of the concept are Robert Van Keuren and Dr. Jon Nachison (two Vietnam veterans). It provided battle weary soldiers during the Vietnam War a retreat in a safe environment.. Its purpose was for soldiers to take care of personal hygiene, enjoy hot meals, medical and dental care, send and receive mail, and enjoy the camaraderie of friends.
Today, it is a grassroots, community-based intervention designed to help the homeless veterans “combat” life on the street.. It offers homeless veterans a “hand up” not a hand out. It provides opportunity for veterans to renew their spirits, health and overall sense of well-being while connecting with other veterans that care.
The planning to host a Stand Down in Catawba County began in 2011 and has been in held in 2012, 2013, and 2014. A successful Stand Down requires a group of dedicated volunteers, donors and sponsors, community support, financial support and strong leaders.