JFCS Hosts Their 12th Annual Stand Down Event Providing Connection and Support to Homeless Veterans

The Giving Coast

FCS of the Suncoast will host their 12th annual Stand Down event at the Sarasota Fairgrounds at 3000 Ringling Blvd., 8 a.m. – noon on Saturday, September 23rd. Dozens of community partners, including small and large businesses, and local and state agencies will be on hand to assist homeless veterans in receiving medical care and to provide eligibility for housing and employment. JFCS’s Director of Veteran Services, George Maggio says, “we value all the help we get with our community partners and volunteers. It takes a small village to help a homeless veteran gather the strength they need to become self-sufficient once again.” Stand Down takes place every year, and this free event provides a day of relief, support, and assistance to those who have served in the armed forces and who now need a helping hand. This year JFCS expects over 100 homeless veterans to attend. The day will start with an opening ceremony honoring those who’ve served. Each veteran will have access to multiple health services and free screenings and will also be given a large rucksack filled with toiletries, clothing, boots, undergarments, personal items, and non-perishable foods. Throughout the event, there will be a drawing for gift cards that provide additional needs. Among the many services available, local judges will attend whereby veterans can learn if they may have charges dropped at Veterans Amnesty Court in order to more readily apply for rental properties. This event gives primarily homeless veterans the opportunity to care for their physical and mental health and to receive the supportive services they need to become connected. At Stand Down each veteran visits at least ten social service agencies and engages in wellness activities like dental care, legal assistance, and substance use treatment options. There are many positive outcomes for homeless veterans that happen at Stand Down including a particularly young homeless veteran JFCS helped at last year’s event to become and remain both employed and housed - his life and future now filled with hope and promise. The main objective in JFCS hosting this Stand Down event is to empower individuals to become self-sufficient. Maggio shares a fitting quote from an unknown author on what he’s seen with some of those he’s assisted, “Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you have been, to stand up taller than you ever were.” For more information on the JFCS Stand Down event contact 941-366-2224 x164.

 

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