VETERANS WHO ARE HOMELESS WILL STAND DOWN ON FRIDAY WHILE THE COMMUNITY STEPS UP TO HELP
Charlotte, NC – An event to provide military veterans who are homeless with assistance, services and community resources at one place on one day is set for Friday, March 12, 2010, at the Grady Cole Center in Charlotte.
Organizers expect 250 to 300 Charlotte-Mecklenburg area veterans will attend the 2010 Mecklenburg County Veterans Stand Down
Area veterans who participate in the Stand Down will receive breakfast and lunch, have an opportunity to use the shower facilities and receive medical, mental health and dental screenings from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Other services during the event include employment assistance, clothing and information about housing and applying for military benefits. The opening ceremony is at 9 a.m. and will include motivational remarks from a veteran who was homeless and unemployed and now wants to share his story of success. A special POW/MIA Ceremony is set for after lunch.
More than 70 service providers from local, state and federal agencies, county departments, nonprofits and community organizations will offer their help and information to the veterans. Mecklenburg County Community Support Services (CSS) is the County’s lead agency for the event through its Homeless Support Services and Veterans Services Office divisions. Area sponsors and donors helped to make the Stand Down possible with monetary, in-kind, and other donations and by volunteering their time.
The concept of the Stand Down is adapted from a term used during the Vietnam War to describe the time spent in relaxation and renewal from combat operations, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. Advocates for veterans who are homeless have adopted the term in their efforts to bring attention to the issue and offer possible solutions.