By Dorothy Meindok
The Post Newspaper Veterans Consultant
September is upon us and this is the month of the year in the veteran community that normally houses STAND DOWN events.
What is a Stand Down event? Part of the U.S. Department of Labor outreach via Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS),
Stand Downs (SD) are typically one- to three-day events which provide supplies and services to homeless Veterans.
The focus is on food, shelter, clothing, health screenings and VA Social Security benefits counseling.
The annual events are awards of funding through the Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP). Referrals to other assistance such as health care, housing solutions, employment, substance use treatment and mental health counseling are often available. The events are collaborative and are coordinated between community based non-profit organizations, like V4V, B.O.O.T.S., American Legion and VFW for the Beaumont, Texas Stand Down (taking place on September 22, 2023, regional VA Medical Centers like Michael E. DeBakey at Texas Medical Center, the Department of Labor (DOL), and other government agencies & municipalities which help provide homeless assistance.
Here in the Galveston/ Houston metroplex our Stand Down takes place in less than 2 weeks, on Friday, September 8, 2023 in Emancipation Park. The annual event is hosted by the City of Houston’s Office of Veterans Affairs, our local VA hospital & Career Gear with enormous support from Texas Veterans Commission, Lone Star Legal Aid, Bob Woodruff Foundation, Texas Access to Justice Foundation, Greater Houston Community Foundation, Legal Services Corporation, Equal Justice Works, Night Court (Houston’s All Lawyer Charity Show) and many more community supporters of our nation’s heroes.
At the Houston Stand Down – veterans can expect to receive haircuts, employment aid, legal aid, headshots for employment purposes, enrollment and services from the Veterans Health Administration as well as benefits information from the Houston Regional Office of the Veterans Benefits Administration, help in financial literacy, introduction to health and wellness activities like yoga and more, in addition to housing assistance.
Please come out and support veterans, come and see what our communities are doing to stand down to homelessness, meet the organizations and find a way you can volunteer and contribute to the veterans community. for ease you can use the QR code in the shared flier to sign up.
This year there will be a Veterans Basketball Tournament, so bring your A-game!
See you there!
Dorothy Meindok is The Post Newspaper’s Veterans Consultant. Ms. Meindok served her nation in the United States Navy and is currently a practicing lawyer advocating for our nation’s veterans. Her column appears on Sundays.