The Department of Veterans Affairs has partnered with the community for the 4th Annual Stand Down for Homeless.
The event to help homeless veterans in the area will be held on Thursday, October 18, 2012, at Central Christian Church at 205 East Short Street in Lexington from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
According to DeWayne Hamlin, Director, Lexington VA Medical Center, this event is all about helping the homeless.
The term stand down is a military term that describes taking soldiers off the battlefield for rest and relaxation in an environment of relative safety. “The concept here is similar,” says Hamlin.
“We work with numerous community agencies with one goal in mind - to create a safe environment for homeless Veterans and homeless persons where they can get connected with the resources they need to improve their personal situations.”
Important resources such as food, clothing, health care, VA benefits (if they are Veterans) Social Security benefits, housing, employment opportunities, and referrals to a variety of other necessary services.
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are over 5,890 homeless individuals in the Commonwealth of Kentucky as of January of this year.
Of those, over 600 are Veterans.
More than 200 people were helped at last year's event. Organizers hope to increase that number this year.
Persons might be considered homeless if they lack regular, fixed, adequate nighttime residence.
For example, if a person has experienced economic hardship – say they’ve lost their job, and they’ve lost their residence and now they’re staying with different friends and relatives – they may fit the definition of being homeless even though they are not living on the streets.
“At VA, we believe one of the best ways to end homelessness is to stop it before it actually happens,” states Hamlin. “We truly care about our nation’s Veterans and hope to soon eliminate homeless among Veterans altogether.”
The stand down is open to all homeless persons and those at risk of becoming homeless. For more information, click here.