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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Houston VA Hosts 10th Stand Down for Homeless Veterans

October 21, 2010

Homeless Veteran 

HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program, in cooperation with the City of Houston-Parks and Recreation Department, City of Houston-Office of Veterans Affairs, B.P.O. Elks, Career and Recovery Resources, Inc., Coalition for the Homeless, Daughters of the American Revolution, Goodwill Industries of Houston, Harris County Hospital District (HCHD), Harris County Veteran Services, Housing Corporation of Greater Houston, Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program (HVLP), Salvation Army Harbor Light Center, SEARCH, Texas Veterans Commission, U.S. Veterans Initiative, VA Regional Office, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12024 of The Woodlands and The Ladies Auxiliary, Veterans of Foreign Wars Motorcycle Group of Texas Unit 1-12024 and Vet Centers is hosting the 10th Houston Area Stand Down for homeless Veterans on October 21-22, 2010, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Emancipation Park Community Center located at 3018 Dowling Street.

“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. The Houston Area Stand Down will bring a wide range of specialized resources together to provide homeless Veterans with comprehensive medical and psychosocial services.

Stand Downs are one part of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ efforts to provide services to homeless veterans. Stand Downs are typically one to three day events providing services to homeless Veterans such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, VA and Social Security benefits counseling, and referrals to a variety of other necessary services, such as housing, employment and substance abuse treatment. 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.

The Houston Stand Down will offer Veterans an opportunity to connect with VA medical services, Veteran Service Organizations, VA Regional Office, and programs specific to women and Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veterans. This is also an opportunity for all Veterans to receive information specific to VA services and community resources.

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Awarded the Robert W. Carey Circle of Excellence Quality Award in 2007 and re-designation for Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Services in 2008, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center serves as the primary health care provider for more than 120,000 veterans in southeast Texas. Veterans from around the country are referred to the MEDVAMC for specialized diagnostic care, radiation therapy, surgery, and medical treatment including cardiovascular surgery, gastrointestinal endoscopy, nuclear medicine, ophthalmology, and treatment of spinal cord injury and diseases. The MEDVAMC is home to a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinic; Network Polytrauma Center; an award-winning Cardiac and General Surgery Program; Liver Transplant Center; VA Epilepsy and Cancer Centers of Excellence; VA Substance Abuse Disorder Quality Enhancement Research Initiative; Health Services Research & Development Center of Excellence; VA Rehabilitation Research of Excellence focusing on mild to moderate traumatic brain injury; Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center; and one of the VA’s six Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers. Including the outpatient clinics in Beaumont, Conroe, Lufkin, Galveston, and Texas City, MEDVAMC outpatient clinics logged almost one million outpatient visits in fiscal year 2009. For the latest news releases and information about the MEDVAMC, visit www.houston.va.gov.