Stand Down for Homeless Veterans


SALEM, Va. (WFXR)- Although Veterans Day was a few days ago, appreciation for their service is ongoing. Many organizations partnered up today in Salem to do just that.

Veterans return home after their time in service and often have a hard time adjusting to a new way of life. Sadly, this leads many to fall into homelessness.

I’m an air force veteran and I’m here today because I’ve been homeless two or three times, and Stand Down helps. It reaches out to homeless people and homeless vets, and provides resources and gives them hope so they can regain housing and regain their lives and they have done it for me more than once.”

Joseph Donaldson, Air Force Veteran

As Donaldson, a veteran and attendee of today’s event says above, the event provides resources, information, and guidance to help veterans combat homelessness and other obstacles they may be facing.

Stand down day is one of my favorite days of the year, not only because I get to see all my clients in one day, which is great, but I also get to help connect them with some pieces that maybe were missing before. You can just see in each individual the hope and the progress that they’re making, and the next steps, you can kind of see them connecting the dots and that’s just great to see because it can be rough out here.

Kate Donaldson, VA Homeless Outreach Coordinator

Veterans received haircuts, a warm meal, coats, boots, gloves, backpacks full of essentials, vaccines, and vital information. When asking a few veterans about their favorite aspect of today, they said the camaraderie. The sense of community amongst veterans, who share relatable experiences was apparent.

The event was sponsored by Salem VA Medical Center, Salem Civic Center, Total Action for Progress, Roanoke Valley Veterans Council, Virginia Employment Commission, Department of Labor, and Western Virginia Workforce Development Grantor- Stand Down Grant.

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