I served in battle in Viet Name in 1975 and never realized my real battle would begin when I returned home. For the longest time I didn’t even want to tell people I was a veteran. I bounced from job to job, couch to couch, meal to meal. It took getting arrested to shake my battle with homelessness. While I was in jail, I heard about the One Community Now Stand Down and how it had helped others connect with all the resources I would need to find housing, get a job and even help with my legal issues. In 2015, I went to the Stand Down and was able to get my license back after attending the Veteran’s Court, I also found a job and housing. I returned in 2016 to offer my services as a volunteer to other Veterans who were struggling like I was. I am currently in the process of opening my own business and I will be serving on the Core Team for the 2017 Stand Down. This is an amazing community event that really makes a difference in the lives of Veterans.
Thank you One Community Now Stand Down Core Team!
Maurice, Veteran in Pasco County
I am a vet that came for the Stand Down living at HEP. I am so glad I went, I have never seen anything like what you guys put on outside of the military. I cannot really put into words the impact your event did for me. I received more information, and help in 24hrs than I could have done myself in a month. The vendors there spent time to explain things in a way in which you could understand, and I found out things I would normally never find out going to their offices. People actually cared, and that was awesome, I had to fight back tears several times throughout the speakers and events; I felt proud again, you and your crew did that. I hope you guys realize how much you did for us vets out there. God bless you, and thank you so much.
Mike K, Veteran in Clearwater
I want to thank Brian and Patti for the best days I have ever had as a veteran. I have never had so many people care about me and my health in my life. But something really special happened to me just before I left on the bus, something I waited 43 years to hear. I fellow veteran was talking to me and I told him that over the years I never thought of myself as veteran and never told anyone I was in the service because of my type of discharge out of respect for those that went to Viet Nam. And he told me that he considered me a Vet and always would. For the first time in all these years I now was free from my chains of gilt. I am now proud to be a veteran and I have Stand down to thank for this honor, thank you and I look forward to next year and playing dominoes again with Patti and breaking our tie. Brian S.
With deepest thanks,
Brian, Veteran from St. Petersburg
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 - SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2017
THE CONCOURSE ROTARY PAVILION / SAFETY TOWN
12010 ALRIC POTTBURG ROAD, SHADY HILLS
2017 EXPECTED ATTENDANCE:
150 HOMELESS VETS / 350 AT RISK VETERANS
400 VOLUNTEERS/ 65 VENDORS
2016 – Veterans court helped lower or eliminate fees keeping veterans from finding employment or getting their drivers license back. Expanded Medical, Dental and Counseling Services Provided.
2016 ATTENDANCE - 124 HOMELESS VETERANS / 323 AT RISK VETERANS | 450 VOLUNTEERS / 54 VENDORS | EXPENSE FOR THREE DAY STAND DOWN - $63,000
2015 – 78 Homeless and At Risk Veterans received Dental Care. 65 Homeless veterans connected to programs for further follow up with Alternative Therapies for PTSD and to the SSVF Program where they were able to find Housing and Long-Term Support.
2015 ATTENDANCE – 181 HOMELESS VET / 302 AT RISK VETERANS | 450 VOLUNTEERS / 65 VENDORS | EXPENSE FOR THREE DAY STAND DOWN - $78,000
2014 - 56 Homeless veterans moved to Stable Housing, Enrolling in School and / or Finding Jobs. The Society of Saint Vincent De Paul was able to secure a Multi-Million Dollar SSVF Grant to build a 30 Bed, Single Housing Facility in Pasco County for Veterans.
2014 ATTENDANCE - 169 HOMELESS VETS / 358 AT RISK VETERANS | 400 VOLUNTEERS / 63 VENDORS | EXPENSE FOR THREE DAY STAND DOWN - $65,000