Upcoming Stand Downs (US)

Stand Downs

Stand Downs are just one part of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ efforts to provide services to homeless Veterans. Stand Downs are typically one to three day events providing services to homeless Veterans such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, VA and Social Security benefits counseling, and referrals to a variety of other necessary services, such as health care, housing, employment, and substance use treatment. Stand Downs are collaborative events, coordinated between local VAs, other government agencies, and community agencies serving the homeless.

Date # of Days Location Contact Phone Number
June 7, 2013 1 Tampa, FL Harry McCurdy 813-610-5879
June 8, 2013 1 Amarillo, TX Michael T. Serpa 806-355-9703
June 13-14, 2013 2 Kalispell, ID Sean O’Neil 918-734-0739
June 14, 2013 1 Tucson, AZ Mark Jensen 520-792-1450 ext. 5559
June 14-15, 2013 2 Klamath Falls, OR Tammi Deforrest 701-616-5368
June 15, 2013 1 Sand Point, ID John Davis 509-462-2500 ext. 4001
June 15, 2013 1 Bozeman, MT James Korth 406-582-9224
June 21-22, 2013 1 Chicago, IL Jeanne Douglas 708-383-3225
June 27, 2013 1 Coer d’ Alene, ID John Davis 509-462-2500 ext. 4001
June, 2013 1 Shawnee, OK Mary Culley 405-456-3876
July 19, 2013 1 Dayton, OH Omar Varise 937-268-6511 ext. 7589
July 19, 2013 1 Long Beach, CA Charlie Lonon 562-826-5373
July 27, 2013 1 Atlanta, GA Tammy James 404-321-6111 ext. 7436
July 27, 2013 1 Coer d’ Alene, ID John Davis 509-462-2500 ext. 4001
August 6-7, 2013 2 Minneapolis, MN Jonelle Glubke 612-313-3246
August 14, 2013 1 Vancouver, WA Joseph Fettig 503-819-8055
August 16, 2013 1 Dayton, OH Omar Varise 937-268-6511 ext. 7589
August 22, 2013 1 Memphis, TN Ovul Ince 901-523-8990
August 22-24, 2013 3 Marysville, CA Deborah Bruner 530-921-0765
August 23-24, 2013 2 Dorchester, MA Rebecca Faherty 617-839-5307
August 24, 2013 1 Jacksonville, FL D. Raul Patton 904-396-8755
August 2013 1 Browning, MT Kathy Momberg 406-338-2111
September 1-3, 2013 3 Nashville, TN Dan Helm 615-873-6037
September 6, 2013 1 Helena, MT Terry Stephens 406-447-6045
September 10, 2013 1 Akron, OH David Effron 330-724-7715
September 12, 2013 1 Asheville, NC Allison Bond 828-298-7911 ext. 5506
September 12-15, 2013 3 Des Moines, IA Kimberly Neal 515-699-5999 ext. 4036
September 13, 2013 1 Houston, TX Jeri Gates 281-808-1175
September 14, 2013 1 Poplar, MT Dan Hutchinson 406-653-6326
September 14, 2013 1 Hamilton, MT Daniel Mayer 406-360-5435
September 14, 2013 1 Knoxville, TN Joan LePage 423-926-1171 ext. 7910
September 19-21, 2013 2 Rock Island, IL Sarah E. Oliver 309-786-1614
September 20, 2013 1 Dayton, OH Edith Darden 937-268-6511 ext. 2463
September 20-22, 2013 3 Cumberland, RI Bill Carr 401-273-7100 ext. 1673
September 21, 2013 1 Milwaukee, WI Barbara Gilbert 414-342-2224
September 21-22, 2013 2 Colville, WA John Davis 509-462-2500 ext. 4001
September 21-23, 2013 3 Compton, CA Charlie Lonon 562-826-5373
September 24, 2013 1 Aberdeen, SD Pat Moore 605-940-9852
September 26-27, 2013 2 Montgomery, AL Tyrinda S. Caver 334-558-8602
September 26-28, 2013 3 Great Falls, MT Rodger McConnell 406-799-6709
September 27, 2013 1 Alexandria, LA Rena Powell 318-466-2773
September 27, 2013 1 Ft. Walton Beach, FL Sally Eddins 850-217-0054
September 27, 2013 1 Salem, OR Rosy Macias 503-362-9911
September 27-28, 2013 2 Wenatchee, WA John Davis 509-462-2500 ext. 4001
September 27-29, 2013 3 Tustin, CA Charlie Lonon 562-826-5373
September 28, 2013 1 West Palm Beach, FL Maria Cabrea 561-422-8223
September 28, 2013 1 Latham, NY Donna Vaughn 518-626-5150
October 4, 2013 1 Dover, DE Elizabeth A. Byers-Jiron 302-349-4898
October 4, 2013 1 Springfield, MA Luz Marcano 413-731-6000 ext. 6114
October 4-6, 2013 3 Ferndale, CA Kermit Thobaben 707-822-1624
October 5-6, 2013 2 Libby, MT John Davis 509-462-2500 ext. 4001
October 9-10, 2013 2 Detroit, MI Linda Jones 313-576-3870
October 11, 2013 1 Mountain Home, TN Joan LePage 423-926-1171 ext. 7910
October 12, 2013 1 Moses Lake, WA John Davis 509-462-2500 ext. 4001
October 12-14, 2013 3 Nashville, TN Dan Helm 615-873-6037
October 15, 2013 1 Columbus, OH Carl Landry 614-257-5206
October 17, 2013 1 Mobile, AL Kelly Estle 251-219-3971
October 17, 2013 1 Wausau, WI Amanda Kalis 608-372-3971 ext. 66452
October 17, 2013 1 Lexington, KY Elisha Kiefer 859-233-4511 ext. 3
October 19, 2013 1 Troutdale, OR Jeremy Hov 360-696-4081 ext. 31274
October 19, 2013 1 Augusta, ME Greg Skillman 207-623-8411 ext. 5408
October 19, 2013 1 Santa Maria, CA Jorge Rodriguez 805-905-9476
October 25, 2013 1 Greenville, NC Melinda Gates 252-830-2149 ext.3224
October 26, 2013 1 Yakima, WA Ron Opsa 509-574-5200
October 26, 2013 1 Atlanta, GA April M. Edwards 404-321-6111 ext. 2412
October, 2013 1 Oklahoma City, OK Mary Culley 405-456-3876
October, 2013 1 Billings, MT Meridith Cox 406-256-3322
November 1, 2013 1 Columbia, SC Travis Thomas 803-776-4000 ext. 7695
November, 2013 1 Billings, MT Meridith Cox 406-256-3322
TBD, 2013 1 Rapid City, SD Clint Olive 605-890-2533
TBD, 2013 1 New Castle, WY Clint Olive 605-890-2533
TBD, 2013 1 Lemmon, SD Clint Olive 605-890-2533
TBD, 2013 1 Kyle, SD Clint Olive 605-890-2533
TBD, 2013 1 Kennebec, SD Clint Olive 605-890-2533

Important Veteran Websites, VetSuccess, eBenefits, VA for Vets, National Resource Directory

On the VetSuccess.gov website, you can conduct customized job searches, access resources to help you create a resume and cover letter, and find useful tips and suggestions to help you succeed in a job interview.  We created VetSuccess.gov as a one-stop shop for Veteran employment, and hope you’ll visit and take advantage of the resources that are available.  Click the VetSuccess graphic to visit the VetSuccess Homepage.

eBenefits is a portal; a central location for Veterans, Service Members, and their families to research, find, access, and, in time, manage their benefits and personal information.

eBenefits offers:

  • A personalized workspace called My Dashboard that provides quick access to eBenefits tools. Using eBenefits tools, you can complete various tasks. You can apply for benefits, download your DD 214, view your benefits status, in addition to other actions as needed. This workspace is available to you once you have created an eBenefits account
  • A catalog of links to other sites that provide information about military and Veteran benefits
  • Click the above graphic to visit the eBenefit Homepage.  (secure)

VA honors the sacred pledge that Military Service Members and Veterans have made to protect our nation. As part of VA’s mission to provide world-class services for the men and women who sacrifice so much for us, we created a dedicated career support program just for them: VA for Vets.

Today, VA is more committed than ever to helping Veterans thrive. VA for Vetsworks to turn this vision into reality by offering Veterans the tools they need to launch or advance their civilian careers at VA.

The most thorough military skills translation and career matching services for Veterans seeking employment.

  • Professional development and deployment lifecycle support for current Veteran and Military Service Member employees.
  • Online training and personalized services for the supervisors, HR professionals, hiring managers and coworkers who work with our Veteran employees each and every day.

Come see how VA for Vets is connecting Veterans to the information, tools and resources they need to succeed.

The National Resource Directory (NRD) is a website that connects wounded warriors, Service Members, Veterans, their families, and caregivers to programs and services that support them.

It provides access to services and resources at the national, state and local levels to support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration. Visitors can find information on a variety of topics including

For help finding resources on the site, visit the How to Use this Site section of the NRD.

The NRD is a partnership among the Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs. Information contained within the NRD is from federal, state and local government agencies; Veteran and military service organizations; non-profit and community-based organizations; academic institutions and professional associations that provide assistance to wounded warriors and their families.

 

Viewpoint: Stand Down Stands Up For Our Veterans

Viewpoint: Stand Down Stands Up For Our Veterans                                                                                  By JAMES SENEY

With his muscular build and short hair, he is perhaps one of the last people anyone would expect to be homeless.

But in the next month, the 22-year-old veteran may lose his apartment and join the ranks of New England’s homeless people.

And he is not alone. One year ago, the former Army private first class was a proud member of Operation Enduring Freedom, completing a one-year deployment in Afghanistan.

Now he wonders if he’ll get a job or, one year from now, where he will live.

Next week in Springfield, the Western Massachusetts Stand Down will be held to help as many of the estimated 3,000 homeless veterans in our region and to prevent veterans believed to be at risk of homelessness from being without a place to live.

The event, held at the Greek Cultural Center in the North End, represents a close partnership with many organizations, including strong leadership from Gumersindo Gomez from the Western Mass Bilingual Veterans Outreach Center, the city of Springfield, the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services, and our area’s municipal veteran services officers.

The 2012 Stand Down will take place Friday, Sept. 28, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. It provides veterans with a centralized, one-stop approach to receiving resources on the spot, bringing together VA programs and services; community health care providers, including health prevention and wellness resources; counseling services; legal aid; the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles; the Social Security Administration; and many other services, including food, clothing and haircuts.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the current economic downturn and the downsizing of the armed forces are the biggest risk factors for newly demobilized service members, resulting in postwar unemployment, missed rent payments and homelessness. Many, like the 22 year-old former soldier, sleep in their cars, move in for a while with relatives or friends, camp out in the woods, or find a cheap motel room and never come to the attention of state or local authorities. And the new picture of veteran homelessness also includes female veterans with children. Nearly all are unemployed. They want to work but cannot find jobs or at least steady work. Or they have work but cannot find housing they can afford so they end up couch surfing – the practice of temporarily living with a stranger – free of charge.

Most never dreamed they would find themselves in such straits. And their troubles are just starting as fall begins and cold weather will quickly set in. Stand Down, while focused on those veterans at greatest risk of needing services, is also intended for all veterans, including active-duty military members, and their families.

With a tough economy and our nation still in recession, every veteran can benefit from the information and resources shared at Stand Down. Three-and-a-half years ago, an estimated 107,000 veterans were homeless in our nation. The number is now estimated to be less than 60,000 but the VA and our community partners cannot be satisfied until every Veteran who has fought for America has a home in America.

If we are to end the travesty of veteran homelessness, we need a total team approach. Every citizen has a role to play. At a minimum, we’d ask for your help in identifying and referring veterans in need. Every community member can make a difference in reaching out to our veterans. The hardship of homelessness is compounded by the truth that our homeless veterans had once put their lives on the line to serve our country in wars past and present. They deserve the very best support network possible. When we ask our men and women to fight and sacrifice for us in defense of our nation, we make a promise that we will give them the support they need when they come home. The Stand Down offers one way to fulfill that promise. If you know a veteran in need, tell them about Stand Down.


James Seney is the program manager for Community Reintegration Services for the VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System.

Click here for more info concerning upcoming Stand Downs.

Homeless and Hungry Veterans in America

The #1 problem that I just cannot wrap my head around and understand is homeless and hungry Veterans in America.  I can’t figure it out.  I just do not understand the whys or the hows about it.  Women and men that fought for our great country are sleeping on the streets, in cardboard shacks and in abandoned cars, AND they are hungry.  Days and weeks go by and these GREAT AMERICAN HEROES are without a hot meal, clean clothes and a shower.  People walk past them on the streets and mutter, “Get a job…”  God knows that these women and men would work if they could only find a job.  Problem is that there’s just no work for anyone.  And too few Americans care about what is happening to our Heroes.  Nothing can make me understand this phenomenon. 

Women Veterans are three time more likely to be at risk of homelessness than non-veteran women.

WHAT?  How can that be?  WHY is this happening?  HOW can this happen?  IS this the way America wants her Veterans to be treated?  What can we do to change this in America?  America is the greatest nation in the World.  America is rich beyond belief, but we have homeless and hungry VETERANS.

I ask each and every one that reads this post to change the statistics and how America treats her Heroes.  I’ll post a bunch of links where YOU can make a difference.  And it’s not all about money either.  Volunteering and giving some of yourself to put an end to hunger and homelessness.  When you don’t have a dollar in your own pocket, you can still give a smile.  Don’t look down on our Street Vets.  A little understanding and a smile goes a LONG way.  If your of the type that prays and believes in a Power Greater than yourself…say a prayer asking Her or Him to help them AND you overcome this problem.  Bring a bag of apples or oranges to a homeless shelter.  Think.  This is our problem, they are our Sisters and Brothers.  Love, compassion, understanding and support are what our Heroes need.  They need a hand up and not a hand out.  Respect.  Dignity.  These are honorable men and women.

I know first hand what it’s like to be without a job and without a home.  I survived the streets of Boston.  I’ve been hungry and alone out there.  I don’t want to go back there.  Most importantly, I do not want my Brothers or Sisters to go through what I went through.

As promised, here are the links for you to consider.  Do what you can, whatever that may be to help.  Thank you.  – J. Barry

Business and Professional Woman’s Foundation – Connect a Vet Resources

Make the Connection – Homelessness – Veterans

Help a Homeless Veteran – VA.gov

For Homeless Women Veterans – VA.gov

The Veterans Site – Feed a Veteran  <– This site will cost you 1 click!

New England Center for Homeless VeteransA Hand UP!  Not a Hand out!

Volunteers of America – Veterans Services

Project Foot – A Charity For Homeless Veterans and Military Families

The Veteran Homestead Inc.

The Jericho Project – Off the Streets – On With Life

Feed Our Vets – Food Pantry

The above links are just a sample of some wonderful ways for you to SUPPORT AND HELP  AMERICA’S HEROES.

 

Veterans Today – Military Veterans and Foreign Affairs Journal

Veterans Today

Veterans Today (VT) is a journal representing the position of members of the military and veteran community in areas of national security, geopolitical stability and domestic policy. 

VT is the only independent, unaligned voice of its kind in America, accepting no financial support from any organization or individual, existing solely for educational purposes.

Spanning the political spectrum, we support the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. We believe the majority of the members of our government, elected and appointed including our Supreme Court, currently serve agendas absent loyalty to the American people and the Constitution.

VT is part of the Veterans Today Network, a network of over 60 sites  independently operated and owned serving the U.S. Military-Veterans Community.

VT’s writers and editors are veterans or proven veterans’ advocates.

VT is a great website with over 21,000 searchable articles published.

Subscribe to  VT’s RSS Feed here:    Veterans Today RSS Feed