Stand Down 2012 helps 500 veterans in need

April 17th, 2012
Navy veteran Reynaldo Perry, 50, with the donated items he received. Reynaldo is living on the streets and in shelters. "I learned about the Stand Down from the VA, and I am glad that I came," Reynaldo says. "I got some very valuable resources and assistance here."

Stand Down 2012 drew about 500 veterans, many of whom are homeless or recovering from homelessness, to utilize the numerous services provided to help the veterans improve their health, gain employment and housing, and reintegrate into the community.

The event took place on Friday, April 13 at the Smith Homes Community Center in Detroit. Southwest Solutions served as the lead agency to organize the Stand Down. More than 30 service providers participated, setting up stations that the veterans visited as they moved around the event. All the services were free. They included: medical, health screenings, dental, mental health, housing counseling, job training, legal, governmental, personal hygiene, and more.

“This is the first Stand Down that Southwest Solutions has put together, and I think it went exceptionally well,” says Theresa Paruszkiewicz, one of our Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP) specialists. “I’ve received nothing but positive feedback from the veteran participants and service providers. Most of the veterans came to the event seeking something in particular, but were pleasantly surprised that they were able to access several services. I am very proud to have been part of the planning process. We thank all of our partners and donors for everything they did to make Stand Down 2012 such a success.”

“The event was well organized, and quite resourceful,” said Cassandra Webb, Vocational Rehab Specialist at the Detroit Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (known as the “Dom”). “Our veterans were able to take advantage of numerous resources from haircuts, to free clothing, to assistance with obtaining state identification cards, to more personal and/or legal matters. The breakfast and lunch menus were quite tasty! The Stand Down also served as a positive social experience for reuniting veterans with their friends, and former acquaintances.”

To see the Facebook photo essay: Stand Down 2012 helps 500 veterans in need.

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