Across the country, Veteran Stand Down events help homeless veterans get medical attention, legal help and new clothes. The Stand Down coming up next weekend in Monterey is still in need of community support.
Robin Falkenberg sorts through shirts inside the warehouse at the Veterans Transition Center in Marina. She’s the Clothing Director for the upcoming Stand Down.
“We have a lot of T-shirts. So, we're looking for jackets, footwear; sneakers, lightweight boots. We have the rainy season coming,” Falkenberg says.
They still need donations of gently-used sleeping bags and new underwear. Clothing donations for both men and women are being collected.
“My main objective is when they leave, they will have at least two full sets of clean, dry clothing. No holes, no stains,” says Falkenberg.
Nearly 200 homeless veterans are expected at the Stand Down, which takes place next weekend (Sept. 28 – 30) at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. Free van and bus transportation for the veterans will be provided.
For three days, homeless veterans will sleep indoors, eat hot meals and have access to showers. They can also get legal help to deal with misdemeanors.
Veterans Transition Center Deputy Director Jack Murphy says those misdemeanors are usually tied to homelessness, like public intoxication or sleeping on a park bench.
“Our Stand Down court is a truly unique and wonderful opportunity for homeless veterans that have a long list, or even a short list, of misdemeanors that can impede the ability to get housing. It's an opportunity for all of those issues to be resolved on the spot,” Murphy says.
Veterans will also have access to dental care. They can get fluoride treatments and be fitted for dentures.
“We’ve got 24 dentists and about 40 dental hygienists already signed up to come through the weekend,” says Murphy.
They’re part of the more than 300 volunteers that make the Stand Down possible. But more volunteers are needed to help set up, prepare food and organize the clothing donations.
You can find more volunteer opportunity details here.
Clothing donations can be dropped off at the Veterans Transition Center at 220 Twelfth St. in Marina.