BELLEVUE, Ky. - Local service organizations joined forces with veterans groups Friday to help assist nearly a quarter of the homeless veterans in the Greater Cincinnati area.
The National Homeless Coalition in Cincinnati estimates that there are more than 2,000 homeless veterans across the Tri-State. That is why the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the Department of Veterans Affairs hosted a local "Stand Down" event.
"In military operations, a 'Stand Down' was a temporary stop of offensive military action," wrote DAV's Tom Jones in an email. "Exhausted combat units and personnel were moved from the battlefield to a safe and secure place to rest and recover."
Stand Down events across the country are organized to provide homeless veterans a safe and secure place to rest and recover.
With the assistance of organizations like the Brighton Center and Goodwill Industries, Cincinnati's Stand Down event managed to provide local veterans a hot meal; medical, dental and eye-care services; legal aid; career opportunities; and various other social services.
People like homeless Navy vet Barney South have benefited from similar events in the past.
"I was homeless for the last year and the VA pretty much helped me back into housing. Now I'm getting a job and going to college," said Smith, adding he was thankful for the aid he was receiving. "I wouldn't wish [being homeless] on anybody."
An estimated 400 veterans seeking assistance attended the event at the Bellevue Veterans Club Friday afternoon.
Air Force vet Samuel Veal marks this event on his calendar annually.
"You can get a lot of things taken care of – high blood pressure, manicures, hair cuts,” Veal said
The pampering helps provide a sense of normalcy to veterans. It is all apart to give the veteran the chance to get back to living American Dream, the very dream they gave so much to help protect.
"It's certainly an opportunity for us as Americans to give back," said the DAV's volunteer organizer, Ron Mintor. "This is to show appreciation for the those who gave so selflessly of themselves to protect our freedoms. And now as we continue to recognize this growing issue with homeless veterans, we want to conduct these Stand Downs to provide the available services that are out there to help them get reintegrated back into society and back on their feet."
If you would like to get involved with the mission of helping homeless veterans get back to working toward the American Dream, you can use the following links or phone numbers listed below.
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