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Salvation Army Supports Veterans at VA Stand Down

By: Captain Adam Moore & Danni Eickenhorst

On Saturday, more than 450 service men and women gathered at Soldiers Memorial Park for the Spring 2012 VA Stand Down, an event that provides services to homeless veterans.  The Salvation Army and 20 other groups attended in support of this event.

The Salvation Army served hot coffee and other refreshments to the veterans as they participated in the outdoor event in brisk weather. Each attendee was provided with opportunities to connect with services and resources including food, shelter, clothing, health screening, substance abuse treatment and more. The event ended with each person receiving a hot lunch, a treat for many who live on the streets, and a small care package.

Stand Downs are collaborative events, coordinated between local VAs, other government agencies, and community agencies who serve the homeless. The first Stand Down was organized in 1988 by a group of Vietnam Veterans in San Diego.  Since then, Stand Downs have been used as an effective tool in reaching out to homeless Veterans, reaching more than 200,000 Veterans and their family members between 1994-2000.

The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center in downtown St. Louis offers a program in coordination with the VA, which allows homeless or ill veterans an opportunity to take advantage of house rehabilitation and job services for up to 24 months, and is in the process of building housing for transitional veterans in downtown St. Louis. For more information on The Salvation Army’s veterans services, please click here.

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