Salt Lake City: Out of the tens of thousands of homeless veterans in America, we might forget just how many of them are right there in Utah. Homeless veterans got some real help at the “Stand Down 2013” event at the VA Hospital.
Four years ago, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced the goal of ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.
At the George E. Wahlen Veterans Medical Center, veterans received a wide array of services, including food, shelter, clothing and health screenings, VA and Social Security benefits counseling, and referrals to a variety of other necessary services, such as housing, employment and substance abuse treatment. Volunteers picked up veterans in and around the whole Salt Lake City.
“Stand Down” is a military term which means, a temporary stop of offensive military action. Stand Down has been held at the Veterans Hospital for the last 12 years.
While he was getting a medical checkup, a flu shot and a haircut, his wife, Lauri, was looking through and picking up warm clothing. They said they are grateful for the help. “I don’t know what we’d do without it,” Lauri Flinders said.
“Some of these folks won’t stay in shelters,” Steve Prestwich, a marine said. “They’ll stay by the rivers; they’ll stay in the mountains. This is important for them to be able to get the winter gear that they need to survive.” He has served veterans for nearly four decades as a volunteer.