Saturday, December 20, 2014 to Sunday, December 21, 2014
Los Angeles Convention Center, Downtown LA, 1201 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015
What Is a Stand Down?
Stand Downs are events held in cities all over the nation to provide food, clothing, services and referrals to homeless veterans. The name “Stand Down” comes from a term used in time of war. Exhausted combat units requiring time to rest and recover were removed from the battlefields to a place of relative security and safety.
Today, Stand Down refers to a grassroots, community-based intervention program designed to help the nation’s estimated 60,000 homeless veterans “combat” life on the streets. The “hand-up, not hand-out” philosophy of Stand Down is carried out through the work of hundreds of volunteers and organizations throughout the nation.
Why Host a Stand Down in Los Angeles?
Although the numbers have decreased since U.S. VETS-Los Angeles opened its doors in 1993, Los Angeles still has the largest population of homeless military veterans in the nation with the latest homeless count estimating more than 6,300 veterans living on the streets.
Los Angeles County remains the epicenter of homelessness in the U.S. and homeless vets account for nearly 20% of the people living on the streets and in shelters in Los Angeles. For a low-income veteran and family, attaining and maintaining affordable, stable housing is no easy achievement in Los Angeles. The overall cost of living here is 36% above the national average, with housing costs among the top ten most expensive in the nation.
What Is the Goal of the Los Angeles Stand Down?
President Obama and the Department of Veterans Affairs set a national goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015. As the second largest U.S. city, Los Angeles is a leader in solving community issues. The proposed Los Angeles Veteran Stand Down will serve 2500 homeless and at-risk veterans in the first year and will continue the effort in subsequent years as Los Angeles attempts to become one of the first major American cities to meet the President’s goal of ending homelessness among veterans by the end of 2015.
Services for Veterans
Services that will be provided to veterans at the Los Angeles Stand Down will include:
- Housing Assistance
- Employment Assistance
- VA Benefits
- VA Enrollment
- VA Medical
- Mental Health
- Legal Assistance
- Military Records
- Dental Care
- Public Health
- Support Groups
- Social Security
- Vision Screening & Free Glasses
- Hygiene Supplies
- And More
Service providers will include federal, city and county governments as well as local nonprofit partners from across LA County and the South Bay.
Partners & Service Providers
The following list represents those who have already expressed support and commitment to the Los Angeles Veteran Stand Down. This list is a small sample of the anticipated broad support.
- LA Mayor Eric Garcetti
- LA City Councilman Curren Price
- USC School of Dentistry
- Angels for Sight
- Team AMVETS
- VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System
- LA County Dept. of Military & Veteran Affairs
- California Dept. of Veteran Affairs
- California Employment & Development Department
A volunteer force of 400 will provide more than 1600 hours of service. Volunteers will be recruited from established partnerships with the Los Angeles Air Force Base, Vet Hunters, U.S. Army Reserve Sustainment/ Support Battalion in El Monte as well as strong participation from community members.