Stand Down to serve homeless veterans

In an effort to provide services to Charlotte’s homeless veterans, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans will host a one-day Stand Down from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on October 11 at the Grady Cole Center.

Stand Down refers to a grassroots, community-based intervention program designed to help the nation’s estimated 107,000 homeless veterans on any given night of “combat” life on the streets. Homeless veterans are brought together in a single location for one to three days and are provided access to the community resources needed to begin addressing their individual problems and rebuilding their lives. In the military, Stand Down afforded battle-weary soldiers the opportunity to renew their spirit, health and overall sense of well-being. Today’s Stand Down affords the same opportunity to homeless veterans.

Charlotte’s one day Stand Down on October 11 will provide services to homeless veterans such as food, clothing, health screenings and VA / Social Security benefits counseling.  Veterans are also given referrals to a variety of other necessary services, such as housing, employment and substance abuse treatment.

American Red Cross volunteers will work this Friday and Monday to help sort items such as sleeping bags and toiletries, and then deliver the items to the Grady Cole Center to set up for the big event.  The American Red Cross will then be on hand Tuesday to help serve the over 300 veterans expected to attend.

Homeless veteran demographic data is from the National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients:

  • 23% of the homeless population are veterans
  • 89% received honorable discharges
  • 85% completed high school/GED
  • 47% served during the Vietnam era
  • 33% were stationed in a war zone
  • 46% are white males
  • 46% are age 45 or older
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