JFCS of the Suncoast Hosting Sarasota Homeless Veterans Stand Down

The Giving Coast

Pictured: Annual Homeless Veterans Stand Down 2021. Photo courtesy of JFCS of the Suncoast.

JFCS of the Suncoast and more than 30 community partners are ready to stand up for veterans during this weekend’s Sarasota Homeless Veterans Stand Down. Around 100 homeless veterans are expected to attend the 11th annual Stand Down, which provides them with a day of respite, support, and assistance, from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 23. JFCS of the Suncoast hosts this free event and brings together dozens of local agencies, businesses, and government partners, to provide services needed to make veterans eligible for housing and employment, as well as give them opportunities to care for their physical and mental health. The morning begins with an opening ceremony. Then each veteran must visit at least eight social service agencies before participating in wellness activities such as free haircuts, dental care, legal assistance, and much more. The veterans are given large rucksacks filled with toiletries, clothing, boots, undergarments, personal items, and non-perishable foods to take with them. Gift cards are also given away during a drawing throughout the event.

"The Homeless Veterans Stand Down provides a day of respite to our veterans experiencing homelessness. The annual event focuses on bringing community partners together in one location to connect veterans with the services they desperately need,” said Shellie Legarsky, JFCS Director of Homeless and Prevention Services. “As the lead agency, we can provide respite care and resources to reduce/eliminate the barriers preventing permanent housing. The ‘hand up, not hand out’ philosophy of the Homeless Veterans Stand Down helps build resilience in our unhoused veteran population, providing long-term housing and income sustainability.”

Sarasota Homeless Veterans Stand Down, 8 a.m. – Noon, Saturday, April 23 (Registration closes at 11:30 a.m.), Sarasota Fairgrounds and Robarts Arena, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. Transportation: SCAT and MCAT are offering free bus rides to and from the event.

Pictured: Annual Homeless Veterans Stand Down 2021. Photo courtesy of JFCS of the Suncoast.

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