|WHEN:||Thursday, October 20, 2011, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
11:30 a.m., Opening Ceremonies
|WHERE:||Emancipation Park Community Center
3018 Dowling Street, Houston, Texas 77004
The 11th Annual Stand Down is an opportunity for homeless Veterans to access a broad spectrum of services at one convenient location and to create a plan for re-entry into mainstream society. The event brings a wide range of specialized resources together to provide homeless Veterans with comprehensive medical and psychosocial services. It also offers programs specific to women and Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) Veterans.
“Stand Down” is military terminology referring to the brief period of time a soldier leaves an active combat area in order to rest and regain strength.
As part of its drive to end homelessness among Veterans by 2015, the Department of Veterans Affairs is launching a nation-wide outreach initiative, “Make the Call,” to spread the message about its special programs to help homeless Veterans and their families to 28 communities, including Houston, across the nation in October.
This fiscal year, VA expects to spend $3.4 billion to provide health care to homeless Veterans and $800 million in specializead homeless programs. The latest studies say more than 75,000 Veterans are homeless on a typical night, and about 135,000 spend at least one night a year in a homeless shelter.
VA encourages family, friends, and citizens in the community to “Make the Call” and help prevent and end homelessness among Veterans. Since March 2010, VA has offered a toll-free telephone number, staffed around the clock by trained professionals, to help homeless Veterans, their families and at-risk people. The number is 877-4AID-VET (or 877-424-3838).
Recently, VA has transformed its efforts in the fight against homelessness. It is changing from a program focus upon temporary, shelter-based services, to prevention, employment, permanent housing, and help to families and Veterans at risk of becoming homeless.
The success of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center’s Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program depends on the strong support and collaboration from our many partners in the community including the City of Houston-Parks and Recreation Department, the City of Houston-Office of Veterans Affairs, B.P.O. Elks, Career and Recovery Resources, Inc., Bush Cares Project, Coalition for the Homeless, Daughters of the American Revolution, Goodwill Industries of Houston, Harris County Veteran Services, Housing Corporation of Greater Houston, Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program, Salvation Army Harbor Light Center, SEARCH, Texas Veterans Commission, U.S. Veterans Initiative, VA Regional Office, Vet Centers, and numerous Veteran Service Organizations.
More information about VA’s homeless programs in Houston is available at http://www.houston.va.gov/Homeless_Programs.asp.