Community Involvement Required for ‘Stand Down’ Success

On 08/06/2012

The transition from a soldier in combat to a civilian in an urban American city is often a difficult one.  That’s why on Thursday, September 27 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Harbor Homes, Inc. will sponsor a Stand Down for homeless veterans at their main office at 45 High Street in Nashua.

In 2011, there were over 67,000 homeless veterans around the country. Harbor Homes, Inc., along with the VA (Veterans Affairs) and a grant from the Department of Labor, are putting together the Stand Down to combat this societal problem. A Stand Down is an event to give homeless veterans both short and long-term assistance and resources, including food, clothing, haircuts, employment counseling, and legal and medical advice.

A successful Stand Down requires months of preparation, hundreds of donations and the generosity of the entire community. It is critical for community members to get involved to show support and encouragement for the veterans.  Individuals can get involved by volunteering to help with the event, or donating boots, gloves, blankets, hygiene products, non perishable food, or used cars to help veterans get to work.

Harbor Homes is looking for many different kinds of donations from companies, from food to vouchers, coupons, products and services – basically anything to help the veterans. Professionals can volunteer services such as legal services, haircuts, dental care, or apprenticeships. We encourage employers that are hiring to come and talk to our educated and qualified veterans about positions available in their companies.  Large and small employers can talk about work opportunities or training programs.

Our overall goals for the Stand Down are to:

  • provide veterans with relief from the dangers, trauma and isolation of homelessness
  • supply them with basic necessities
  • bring together service providers, volunteers and professionals to create short-term and long-term solutions, to poverty, homelessness and unemployment
  • raise community awareness about homelessness (especially amongst veterans) through publicity, organizations and word-of-mouth.

Matthew Milbourn, a veteran and employee at Harbor Homes, is an avid supporter of the Stand Down and its mission. “It is the largest gathering of resources and volunteers with one mission: to end veteran homelessness in New Hampshire” he said.  “It provides a positive impact on the community as it raises awareness for a very serious issue and provides otherwise non-existent access to support services for local veterans and their families. Without these types of events there would be no outreach or community awareness to this problem.”

To learn more about the Stand Down or to reserve a table, please contact Andrea Reed or Dave Richardson at (603) 882-3616 x1111. To volunteer, please contact Erin Schaick at (603) 882-3616 x1148 or E.Schaick@nhpartnership.org.

To view pictures from our previous Stand Downs, check out our Flickr page.



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