EVENT DATE: Nov 15, 2014
Jay Ponti wrote -
On November 15th a coalition of organizations will host the Veterans Stand Down event in downtown Los Angeles, providing free critical support services for those who laid their lives on the line to serve our nation and are suffering.
Services to be offered include:
• Free haircuts
• Mobile medical exams
• Confidential mental health counseling
• Housing eligibility screening
• Shelter and housing referrals
• Registration for VA Services
• Substance abuse treatment
• Legal advice
A hot breakfast and a nutritious lunch will be provided and served. Entertainment this year will include local bands.
"Stand Down" is a military term for a time of rest and recovery for exhausted combat units. Today Stand Down refers to the grassroots, community-based outreach program designed to help the nation’s estimated
200,000 homeless veterans “combat” life on the streets. Currently there are over 100 Stand Downs held each year around the nation. It is estimated that there are 80,000 homeless on any given night in LA. That number appears to be decreasing, but one veteran without comfortable shelter encourages us to continue and find others working to erase the number completely. At least 20% of that number --one in five -- has served their country with military service! The DTLA Stand Down planning committee expects over two hundred men and women will attend this year's repeat event.
We are pleased to have service providers representing many aspects of recovery efforts designed to ease life for our veterans. We are especially pleased to have funding support once again from CalVets.
Melvin Ishmael Johnson, one of the event coordinators, explains his involvement: "I’m a Marine (1969-71) and really proud of my service. After the service, my life was pretty much a wreck for a lot of years and I didn’t know why. It took a while to find out about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and even longer to fight through the effects. I discovered a voice as a writer. My work (“Surviving the Nickel”) introduces the tough life that awaits many a veteran after his or her service is over. Focusing one time each year on men and women who find themselves today where I was 40 years ago is my way of saying, ‘Here, take my hand’.”
For all who served and for those that did not, the Stand Down is a way to extend that hand to less fortunate veterans who need our help.
Thanks to The Veterans Project and the service providers in its network, I received financial, legal and career assistance that really made a difference in my life. They don't help only homeless or destitute veterans. They facilitate partnerships and opportunities even for veterans who are making great strides. It's not about handouts so much as it's about harnessing talent for the betterment of society. - Rick Reyes, (Ret.) USMC
Volunteers and cash or in-kind donations are still needed. No gift or amount of time is too small. To
donate, please mail checks made payable to S.E.E./The Veterans Project to The Veterans Project,
3520 Overland Avenue, Suite 110, LA, CA 90034.
For more information please visit www.theveteransproject.org
or call 310.621.4659.
The Veterans Project www.TheVeteransProject.org
Dramastage Qumran www.dramastage-qumran.org
or to the Robey Theatre Company www,robeytheatrecompany.com are tax deductible.
The Robey Theatre Company serves as fiscal sponsor Tax ID #: 4564423.