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Veterans Village of San Diego hosts its 33rd annual Stand Down event

Veterans Village of San Diego Stand Down sign.jpg
Melissa Mae
The Veterans Village of San Diego 'Homeless Veterans Stand Down' sign displayed at the entrance of the event at the VVSD San Diego campus on November 17, 2021.

The 33rd Stand Down event took place Wednesday at the Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD).

“It’s an opportunity to literally stand down. So, to come in from the elements, to not have to really be concerned with protecting your physical person or your stuff. All of those very harsh realities that individuals deal with when they’re out on the street,” said Akilah Templeton, president and CEO of VVSD. “So stand down provides an opportunity for people to come in and take an inventory of what’s happening in their life.”

This annual event is for homeless veterans, veterans at risk of homelessness or unemployed.

“So, it’s a time to really rest and to think about what’s happening today and how you move past your current circumstance and they have the opportunity to do that with the help and support of the community,” Templeton noted.

More than 50 service providers were there, from the Homeless Court helping with minor violations and tickets, to Family Health Centers with free flu shots. The San Diego Humane Society was also there to help with any animal needs.

“It’s really just a one-stop-shop and we try to anticipate the needs that the average homeless or at-risk veteran might have and try to fill those gaps here,” Templeton said.

They helped hundreds of veterans today with food, shower facilities, clothing and even a library to take some books home.

Normally this event takes place over three days, but due to the pandemic, it was limited to one day. The next Stand Down event is scheduled for June 2022.

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