Veterinary Services at the Maricopa Veterans StandDown Since 2001, The Maricopa County StandDown, organized by The Arizona Housing Coalition, has grown into Arizona’s largest event targeting homeless…
Veterinary Services at the Maricopa Veterans StandDown
Since 2001, The Maricopa County StandDown, organized by The Arizona Housing Coalition, has grown into Arizona’s largest event targeting homeless or at-risk veterans. The 2018 StandDown was held in January, in the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, in partnership with Arizona State Fairgrounds. An annual event, it is named after the military term ‘Stand Down’ which refers to time given to a soldier to leave active combat in order to rest and regain strength. Aptly named, the event sheds light on the issue of high-risk veterans, its mission is to help vulnerable and homeless veterans access the resources they need to regain their independence. StandDown events are held in 12 Arizona counties connecting over 3100 veterans each year to the much-needed services.
The Maricopa County StandDown assisted veterans of all ages, genders, and ethnicities, from various branches of the military. This year, as every year, a volunteer guide greeted the veterans and helped them navigate the service areas. Veteran attendees were provided with food, shelter and compassion. Cots were available onsite and provided veterans overnight shelter, and access to meals, showers, and clothing. Housing services were there to help get veteran get off the streets and into their own housing. Seventeen percent of the veterans that participated in the 2017 StandDown were homeless, down from 80% in 2006. Poor hygiene, a lack of transportation, and homelessness all impact a person’s ability to gain stable employment. On the first day alone, the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles issued over 290 state-issued ID