In times of war, exhausted combat units requiring time to rest and recovery were removed from the battlefields to a place of security and safety. Today, Stand Down refers to a grassroots, community-based intervention program designed to help the nation’s estimated 67,000 homeless veterans transition from life on the streets back to civilian life.
Operation Stand Down is a time for the community to connect with our homeless and at-risk veterans to help break down the barriers that are keeping these heroes on the streets. The “hand up, not a hand out” philosophy of Stand Down requires the work of countless volunteers, businesses, and local, state, and national organizations. Organizations will be available to provide direct services (including medical, dental, legal, spiritual) to ensure Veterans are getting the benefits they are entitled to and provide referrals for those struggling with mental health, unemployment, homelessness, and addiction issues.
Primary emphasis was placed on the creation of a community in which homeless veterans are treated with respect and given the opportunity to relax, interact, and form ties with peers and volunteers while receiving much-needed, specific services.
Navigate Hope will have licensed counselors on-site to provide mental health screenings, resources, and referrals for our homeless veterans.
Other partners there, will be providing:
- Transitional/Permanent Housing
- Job placement and readiness support
- SNAP Benefits
- HIV Testing
- …and other benefits
There are several ways for you to get involved and help with this year’s Operation Stand Down.
- Donation of Goods — clothing (shirts, socks, shoes/boots), sleeping bags, blankets, personal hygiene items. (email: firstname.lastname@example.org for further info on the donation of goods)
- Become a Financial Donor — We need funds to purchase clothing (shirts, socks, shoes/boots), sleeping bags, gloves for warmth, winter jackets, blankets, personal hygiene items.
Does It Make a Difference? Yes.
Operation Stand Down has been successful in matching the right services to those Veterans who are struggling to get their life back together.
Even for those veterans who return to life on the streets, Operation Stand Down is an opportunity for them to take safe harbor from “combat on the streets” for one weekend a year. Certainly, our Veterans deserve at least that.