Santa Maria -
Volunteers are packing backpacks and duffle bags to hand out to homeless
veterans Saturday at the first Stand Down in Santa Maria. It's a local effort
to help get homeless veterans off the streets. On any given night in the United
States more than 67-thousands homeless veterans spend the night on the street.
Here on the central coast veterans make up a large portion of the homeless
Hundreds of volunteers will come together Saturday at the
Fairpark to provide resources for veterans. They have been getting ready for this event for 14 months.
Volunteer Helen Galvan says, "Veterans are my number one priority because they
served our country, it is just our way of giving back to them."
The stand down is being paid for entirely through donations
and grant money no tax dollars are being spent on this event. Supervisor Steve
Lavagnino is organizing the it. He
got his inspiration from a 60-Minutes piece on a yearly stand down in San
Diego. Santa Barbara County Supervisor Lavagnino says, "I'm hoping we can help
everybody, but if we help a handful, if we can help one guy, get one guy off
the street and plug him back into society, get him a job, help him take that
step forward that's what we are looking to do."
Homeless vets will have a chance to get sleeping bags, cots,
haircuts, showers, three meals, dental work, health checks and PTSD screening.
They can also get California ID cards and job counseling, just to name some of
the resources that will be available. 200 volunteers and 75 airmen from
Vandenberg Air Force Base will be there to help out. The event is focusing on
homeless vets, but all veterans and their families are encouraged to attend on
Saturday. The stand down starts at
7 AM at the Santa Maria Fairpark, dinner will be served starting at 4 PM. It
will be Santa Maria style barbecue courtesy of the elks club.
Wednesday, June 5 2013 5:40 PM EDT2013-06-05 21:40:27 GMT
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Photo Courtesy: Cinda Price
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