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Massachusetts Stand Down

“Stand Down” is a military term referring to the brief period of time a soldier leaves an active combat area in order to rest and regain strength. Today, Stand Down refers to a grassroots, community based intervention program designed to help the nation’s homeless veteran population. 

399605_379413692090885_205846798_nFor the past 4 years, this event has served as a way of bringing a wide range of specialized resources to help the city’s veterans facing a wide range of problems, from homelessness to mental health needs and everything in between. Stand Down is a once a year opportunity for homeless and at-risk veterans to access a broad spectrum of services in one location including:

  • Medical care
  • Housing assistance
  • VA and Social Security benefits counseling
  • Oral health/dental screenings
  • Haircuts and eyeglasses
  • RMV – Mass. ID Cards and License Renewals
  • Clothing
  • Employment Services
  • Legal Assistance
  • Mental health counseling 
  • And more!

Thomas Bierbaum, President and CEO of Volunteer of America Massachusetts explains, “All of us have experienced pulling up to a stop light and a tattered looking man or woman approaches with a sign reading, ‘homeless veteran will work for food’ and for most of us, this breaks our heart and for many people they turn away not knowing exactly how to help that person. Stand Down is an opportunity for the community to come together and help those veterans most in need, both with and without homes.  They simply deserve the best.”

IMG_1374The philosophy of Stand Down is carried out through the work of hundreds of volunteers and organizations who mobilize their resources to provide free services to any veteran who attends the event. Last year, over 1,000 veterans in need of support attended the two-day event. 

As we prepare for Massachusetts Stand Down 2014, find out how you or your business can donate time and services, please contact: 
Stephanie Paauwe, Volunteers of America, spaauwe@voamass.org or 617-522-8086.

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