Homeless Veterans get a "hand-up" at Standdown

Approximately 422 homeless passed through the annual Arizona Standdown. They were provided with medical attention, dental services, Voice Mail accounts, clothing, showers, meals and a safe place to sleep during the weekend while they accessed the services. The purpose of the event is to give a 'hand-up, not a hand-out' to homeless veterans.

Ultimately 30 homeless participants were placed in permanent housing and 20 into treatment and/or transitional housing. Campaige Place, a HUD-funded multi-family facility was instrumental in placing many of the transitional participants. This was the first year that they were able to participate in the event and their assistance was greatly appreciated.

The 4th annual Arizona Standdown was a successful event. It was held in Phoenix the weekend of October 29, 31, 2004. The Phoenix HUD office was greatly involved in the planning the event. They accumulated clothing to pass out to participants. They provided volunteers and assisted in assuring that the event was conducted smoothly.

HUD was a major sponsor of the event. The Phoenix HUD office was joined with the Veterans Administration, Social Security, City of Phoenix, Veteran's Service Organizations, and other organizations. Together they provided housing, counseling, and job placement services to those veterans who wanted it.

Opening ceremonies included Rebecca Flanagan, Director of the Phoenix HUD Office; the reigning Miss Arizona, Katherine Kennedy; Peter VanHaren, Chair, Phoenix Veterans Commission, and Kelly McCue. Kelly McCue read a letter from current soldiers serving in Iraq to the soldiers of the past who participated in this Standdown.

A new partner in the Standdown this year was the Humane Society. They were available to assist a homeless veteran who came in with a pet. The pet was given vaccinations, a medical exam and grooming. The pet was housed for the weekend while the participant attended the function and used the services that were available. The Humane Society saw twelve pets during the weekend. This far exceeded their expectations. This was their first time participating and ensured their return for future events.

The 4th annual Veterans Standdown was an occasion to be celebrated. It was covered in the media by the Arizona Republic, KTAR radio, and KTVK television. With the assistance of all of the partners, including the Phoenix HUD office, more homeless veterans than ever were helped. Some were able to go from a life on the streets to permanent housing. Others went into treatment programs. Many people are now able to either resume productive lives or begin the process to rejoin society.

Content Archived: August 17, 2011