PARSIPPANY, NJ --
The NJ Fallen Soldiers Foundation, Community Hope, The VFW of Morris County, and the American Legion of Morris County will host a Stand Down to outreach to homeless and needy veterans on Friday, November 8 and Saturday, November 9, 2013. The stand down will be held daily from 9am to 3pm at the Morristown Army National Guard Armory, 430 Western Avenue in Morristown, New Jersey.
The event will provide homeless veterans with meals, clothing and access to medical and mental health services, job training, shelter, and other community resources. Volunteers, resource providers and homeless veteran participants are needed and encouraged to pre-register at http://morristownstanddown.eventbrite.com/
“Our first annual Morristown Stand Down was a great success. We were able to assist nearly 150 homeless veterans and their families. We hope to continue our previous success by providing support to even more homeless and at-risk veterans, along with their families this November. Our partnership with Community Hope will help to ensure that homeless and needy veterans are provided with supportive services and housing opportunities,” said Tom Dresdner, President and CEO of the New Jersey Fallen Soldiers Foundation.
Dresdner reported that more than two dozen homeless veterans were referred to Community Hope’s housing and support services programs. In addition, 14 veterans suffering from PTSD/TBI were treated and received counseling from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Vets Center in Secaucus, NJ. Over 30 veterans received dental treatment from the Zufall Health Center’s mobile medical and dental vehicle.
“Stand Downs provide the opportunity to engage with our neediest veterans,” said J. Michael Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer of Community Hope, whose agency will provide housing and services to more than 750 homeless veterans and at-risk veteran families in the next year. “We have the programs in place to help homeless veterans and the Stand Down allows us to reach those that need the most help, try to engage them and earn their trust so that they are willing to accept the basic essentials they need and the services we provide. ”
“Just one homeless Veteran is one too many,” said Ken Mizrach, Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs New Jersey Health Care System. “Last year’s Stand Down co-hosted by the New Jersey Fallen Soldiers Foundation and Community Hope attracted close to 150 homeless Veterans over a two-day period. We are hopeful that this year’s event in November will reach many more Veterans in need.”
"The members of VFW Post 3401 Morris Plains along with members of our Men's and Ladies Auxiliary who participated in the first annual Stand Down Morristown were thankful for the opportunity to give back to these veterans in need. We look forward to helping out again this year and working side by side with so many great veterans’ organizations in the pursuit of helping veterans and their families,” said Jim Auriemma, Service Officer, VFW Post 3401 Morris Plains.
The second annual Morristown Stand Down will expand the legal services previously offered. Through our collaborative efforts involving Pro Bono Partnership, LLC, additional legal services and counseling will be offered. Legal services include support with VA representation, misdemeanors, felony offenses and veteran civil rights. The New Jersey State Parole Board will also be on hand to provide information to veterans who were formerly incarcerated.
Together with the NJ Fallen Soldiers Foundation, Community Hope, The VFW of Morris County, and the American Legion of Morris County, community resource providers participating in the event include the NJ Veterans Affairs Healthcare System; the Department of Labor; the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs; VFW Morris Plains Post 3401; American Legion Lincoln Park Post 279; Zufall Health Center; United Way of Northern New Jersey; Spirit of the Arts Foundation, Employer Support Guard and Reserve; Garden State Society for Human Resources; One Stop Center in Morristown; Family Service of Morris County; Operation Chillout; Community Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center; Eric Johnson House; Homeless Solutions; Interfaith Food Pantry; Salvation Army of Morristown; Morris County Human Services and Dress for Success Morris County.
In times of war, exhausted combat units requiring time to rest and recover were removed from the battlefields to a place of relative security and safety. At secure base camp areas, troops were able to take care of personal hygiene, get clean uniforms, enjoy warm meals, receive medical and dental care, mail and receive letters, and enjoy the camaraderie of friends in a safe environment.
Today, Stand Down refers to a grassroots, community-based intervention program designed to help the nation’s estimated 107,000 homeless veterans on any given night “combat” life on the streets. Homeless veterans are brought together in a single location for one to three days and are provided access to the community resources needed to begin addressing their individual problems and rebuilding their lives. In the military, Stand Down afforded battle-weary soldiers the opportunity to renew their spirit, health and overall sense of well-being. Today’s Stand Down affords the same opportunity to homeless veterans.
To support the Stand Down or for more information on the event, please contact Tom Dresdner at 973.920.0831 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For information on Community Hope’s veterans programs, visit www.communityhope-nj.org
or call Jenn Stivers, the Director of Supportive Services for Veteran Families at 973-463-9600 x. 354