Stand Down Event Expects Record Turnout Of Homeless Veterans
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Aired 7/11/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.
Phil Landis, President and CEO, VVSD, Veterans Village of San Diego
Jennifer Litwak,Manager of Projects and Development, SD County Regional Task Force on the Homeless
A record number of homeless veterans are expected to receive care and services at San Diego's Stand Down event this weekend, said Veterans Village CEO and President Phil Landis.
He said last year 1,003 veterans attended and a record number, 700, have preregistered this year. Landis said more than 3,000 volunteers are expected to turn out for the 25th annual event.
The three-day event will provide food, shelter, clothing, medical, dental and vision services, VA and Social Security benefits counseling and employment counseling, legal services and substance abuse treatment.
Landis said Stand Down, which is now a nationwide program, originated in San Diego in the 1980s.
Today, he said about 22 percent of the homeless veterans in San Diego's Veterans Village programs are from post-9/11 wars.
“Which is a huge jump from just 18 months ago,” he said. “We think that portion of the population is going to grow significantly.”
These veterans are more likely to suffer from traumatic brain injury, which Landis said can be difficult to identify and treat.
“We’re still scrambling as a nation of healers in what’s the best modality in how to treat traumatic brain injury,” he said.
More information on services at Stand Down and how to donate to or volunteer at the event are available here.
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