Scenes from last year’s Stand Down (Images: CHS)
In 2013, The Seattle Stand Down provided services to nearly 350 veterans in a day of volunteering and outreach at Seattle Central. This year, organizers have expanded the Stand Down to two day event to reach out to even more homeless veterans. The fourth annual Seattle Stand Down takes place on Thursday December 11th and Friday December 12th.
“We are actually growing even more,” said Matthew Perry, one of the organizers of the event.
The annual event now provides services like dental exams, eye exams, medical screenings. There will also be a job fair counseling will be provided on various issues like legal affairs, housing, employment opportunities.
On the first day of the event, veterans will be provided interviewing clothing, help with writing resumes. The second day they will be provided with the opportunity to meet with employers looking to hire. Special attention will also be given to women veterans who organizers say often don’t get fair representation in the homeless counts and face additional problems when trying to access opportunities for housing.
Organizations like the Seattle University Veterans Committee, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars have joined to make this year’s event possible. The event is also funded by a Veterans Employment and Training Service grant from the U.S. Department of Labor and also by One Mountain Less, a nonprofit organization helping veterans.
“They get the chance to take care of whatever they need that day so it’s been very neat because most of the volunteers are veterans themselves or are connected to a veteran,” Perry said. “The veterans that are coming in from the street, homeless and here are other veterans ready to help them, shake hands and give a hug and help them through the whole thing.
Perry urges CHS readers to consider volunteering to help on the day of the event or getting more information to get involved in 2015. You can learn more at theseattlestanddown.org.
For more ways to give, check out the Capitol Hill food/coat/games/etc. giving drives 2014 page.