Stand Down

May 6, 2015

Broadcast date: 5/07/2015

San Luis Obispo County has a growing number of homeless. In January 2014, HUD reported that San Luis Obispo County had the 3rd largest unsheltered homeless population in the country. At the last point in time count there were over 200 homeless veterans in our community, with hundreds more at risk.

What is a Stand Down? In times of war, exhausted combat units requiring time to rest and recover were removed from the battlefields to a place of relative security and safety. Today, Stand Down refers to a community-based intervention program designed to help the nation's estimated 200,000 homeless Veterans "combat" life on the streets. San Luis Obispo County will be hosting a Stand Down on May 14, 15, and 16 at the Veterans Memorial.

For the homeless and at-risk Veteran and their families in San Luis Obispo County and elsewhere, life on the streets is debilitating at best. Suffering from lack of shelter, unemployment, physical and emotional disabilities, and lack of food, the homeless and at-risk veteran often feels completely isolated from mainstream society and unable to break out of the self-perpetuating cycle of homelessness. For those who do seek assistance, many are unable to access the help they need because the services required are spread out over a wide geographic area. This means homeless veterans must exert undue time and energy going from one agency to another. The San Luis Obispo County Stand Down will offer access to a wide range of services over a short period of time. These services included medical and dental attention, employment counseling, mental health services, legal advice, haircuts, showers, food, clothing, pet care and more.

Join host Fred Munroe as he speaks with Dana Cummings, the Veterans Services Officer with the County of San Luis Obispo Department of Veterans Services about the upcoming Stand Down event, as well as San Luis Obispo County’s many other benefits and programs available to support veterans and their families.

Central Coast Voices is sponsored by ACTION for Healthy Communities in collaboration with KCBX and made possible through underwriting by Joan Gellert-Sargen.