For the fifth straight year, VA Pittsburgh co-hosted a Stand Down for current and formerly homeless Veterans and their families.
Stand Down 2012 was held on Aug. 11 at the Shepherd's Heart Fellowship in Pittsburgh. More than 300 Veterans participated in the event, which provided breakfast, lunch, haircuts, live music and other entertainment. More importantly, Stand Down provided a link to resources and services in hopes of ending homelessness among Veterans.
"It was a wonderful day, not just for the help we gave Veterans, but also for sharing in fellowship as well," said Mary Frances Pilarski, coordinator for VA Pittsburgh's Health Care for Homeless Veterans program and co-chair of the event. "The community really came together and it was wonderful to see."
Several VA Pittsburgh programs were represented, including eligibility, primary care, behavioral health, the Center for Treatment of Addictive Disorders, suicide prevention and Veterans Justice Outreach. More than 30 Veterans applied for housing services.
Community partners included the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Mercy Operation Safety Net, Shepherd's Heart Fellowship, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, CareerLink, Disabled American Veterans, and Allegheny County Department of Human Services.
"It was our privilege to serve our Veterans," said Pilarski. "We want all Veterans to know that VA is here to help them."
"Stand Down" is a military term referring to fresh troops taking care of exhausted combat troops by moving them to a safe and secure place. In Stand Down, soldiers recuperate to help them face future challenges.
Visit our Facebook page to view more photos from the Stand Down 2012 event.
If you or someone you know is a homeless Veteran in need of help, call 1-877-4AID VET (1-877-424-3838) to receive free, confidential support from a trained, VA staff member 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.