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.
In times of war, exhausted combat units requiring time to rest and recover were removed from the battlefields to a place of security and safety. Today, Operation Stand Down refers to a grassroots, community-based intervention program designed to help the nation’s estimated 38,000 homeless veterans “combat” life on the streets.
Operation Stand Down is a time for the community to connect with our homeless veterans and to begin to break down the barriers that are keeping these heroes on the streets. The “hand up, not a handout” philosophy of Operation Stand Down requires the work of countless volunteers, businesses, and local, state and national organizations. Organizations will be available to provide direct services (including medical, dental, spiritual);ensure Veterans are getting benefits they are entitled to; and provide referrals for those struggling with mental health, job, housing and addiction issues.
There are several ways for you to get involved and help with this years Operation Stand Down.
Operation Stand Down has been successful in matching the right services to those Veterans who are struggling to get their life back together.
Even for those veterans who return to life on the streets, Operation Stand Down is an opportunity for them to take safe harbor from “combat on the streets” for one weekend a year. Certainly, our Veterans deserve at least that.
"Stand Down" began in San Diego in 1988. Twenty-five years later, that organization has celebrated many successes, and was featured in 2010 on “60 Minutes.” There are now more than 200 Stand Downs throughout the country. While many Stand Downs are a one-day event, Operation Stand Down is a three day event, for all homeless veterans located in the Tampa Bay Area.