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Stand Down’ Event To Help Homeless Veterans Begins Today

The 23rd annual Stand Down, which provides services to homeless veterans and their families, began today, with organizers expecting more than 1,000 people to register for the three-day event.

Medical care, counseling, food, clothing and other help will be provided during the weekend.

Stand Down coordinator Darcy Pavich said more employment and recovery services are being offered than before, and there is also a legal clinic. The DMV is providing California ID cards, she said.

"That's different and very needed by our people," Pavich said.

She said the need for help is growing, especially as the recession drags on.

Several participants told 10News that they were now homeless because they or their spouse were laid off.

"Each night I go to be praying it will get better, and so far it hasn't," Troy Howell told the station.

The event, hosted by Veterans Village of San Diego, is being held at San Diego High School's athletic fields, where more than dozen military-style tents were erected to house and help the homeless veterans who are expected to participate.

Last year, 928 homeless veterans took part in Stand Down which was nearly 100 more than the year before, according to VVSD.

The undertaking is a model of hundreds of other Stand Down events now held nationally.

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