VA Salt Lake City Health Care System
2016 Homeless Veterans Stand Down
Stand Down: Another Step to Ending Veteran Homeless
The goal is simple to state—End Veteran Homelessness, but not as simple to accomplish. VA Salt Lake City Health Care System and its community partners hosted a Homeless Veterans Stand Down on September 10, 2016 to help accomplish that goal.
The Stand Down located at the Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake provided one stop shopping for homeless Veterans. They visited booths which offered different goods and services, including: vaccinations and health screenings, registration and appointments to VA medical and mental health programs, housing information, sleeping bags and backpacks filled with hygiene kits, and a meal from a taco truck.
“You have direct names and numbers for housing, for legal advice, some educational services,” noted Homeless Veteran John Luqu. “It is all right here.”
The original Stand Down for homeless Veterans was modeled after the stand downs of the Vietnam War. Those provided a safe retreat for troops and units from combat operations. In that same spirit, the Homeless Stand Down provides a safe place for Salt Lake’s homeless Veterans to gather.
Camaraderie is a big part of the Stand Down and that’s something Luqu really likes about the annual event, “I brought like four other veterans with me. This is their first time. It is exciting to see them get the help that they need.”
Even with outreach conducted throughout the year by VA and its community partners, the Stand Down still serves as an important tool. “This is a good event to draw out veterans we are not seeing,” said Kristy Hamilton, Stand Down organizer and VA homeless supervisor. “It makes them feel them important.”
This year, 56 Veterans attended the stand down—down from the 60s in 2015, but when your goal is to end Veteran homelessness, a downward trend is actually good thing. VASLCHCS’s Pocatello Community-Based Outreach Clinic is taking part in a similar Homeless Stand Down in Southeast Idaho. For more information click here.
Thanks to all of our donors, sponsors, volunteers, and service providers who came together to help us put on this great event represented were: VA Substance Abuse Service, VAMC enrollment office, VBA, VMA, VA Homeless Outreach, VA GPD Program, VA HUD/VASH, Veteran Justice Outreach, VA H-PACT (medical), VA Dental, VA Audiology, VA Podiatry, VA Occupational Therapy, VA LGBTQ Program, VA PTSD Clinical Team, VA Suicide Prevention/Veterans Crisis Line, CWT VOC/VAC Program, Salt Lake City Housing Authority, Salt Lake County Housing Authority, Department of Workforce Services, Utah Labor Commission, Social Security Administration, Utah Community Action Program, American Red Cross, The Road Home/SSVF, The Vet Center, SLC Adult and Aging Services, and the US Navy Recruiting Office.
We couldn’t have done it without you!