Ventura County Stand Down for homeless veterans

The 21st annual Ventura County Stand Down will take place July 26, 27 & 28, 2013, and will be held at the California Army National Guard Armory in Ventura. The purpose of this effort is to assist veterans break out of the cycle of homelessness. Veterans in the Counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Los Angeles will participate this year. Ventura County Stand Down invites veterans who are not homeless access to the services that will be available on Friday, July 26 & Saturday, July 27.

Stand Down refers to a grassroots, community-based intervention program designed to help the veterans who are homeless “combat” life on the streets. The hand up philosophy of Stand Down is carried out through the work of hundreds of volunteers and organizations who truly demonstrate the American spirit of volunteerism on behalf of veterans who are homeless. They demonstrate that ordinary people can do extraordinary things in assisting veterans become productive citizens of the community.

During the three-day, two-night effort, veterans will live on campus in military-style tents erected by the Seabees and have access to shower facilities, toiletries, new and used clean clothing, hot meals, etc. each day. Working in conjunction with dozens of public and private agencies Stand Down 2013 will provide homeless veterans with a myriad of services such as medical treatment, legal services, prescription lenses, employment counseling and referrals, VA benefits, drug and alcohol counseling, general relief information, transitional housing information, along with a range of other government and social services. In addition, a Superior Court will be held on Friday afternoon, July 26, where veterans will be given an opportunity to adjudicate their pending legal cases before a volunteer judge who, in lieu of fine or jail time, order veterans to participate in community service at the Stand Down site. One of the many success stories of Stand Down are those veterans who were homeless return year after year as volunteers to assist other fellow veterans.

Claire Hope, Founder & Executive Chairperson for 21 consecutive years, is an 18-year resident of Camarillo whose father was a WWII veteran, husband is a WWII and Korean veteran, and her son is a Persian Gulf Veteran.

Those veterans who pre-register at various social service agencies facilitate their entrance into the Stand Down event.