With just about 250 homeless or at-risk Veterans of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia preregistered to participate in the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s Winterhaven Homeless Veterans Stand Down, the medical center will transform into a one-stop service and resource haven for Veterans in need. The annual event will be held Saturday, January 28, 2017 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.at the medical center on 50 Irving Street, NW in Washington, DC.
The full day of services, which address many of the contributing factors associated with homelessness, include; employment and education counseling, financial planning, substance abuse and rehabilitative programs and psychosocial services. Veterans will also receive health assessments, HIV testing, specialty care exams including dental, podiatry and audiology as well as warm clothing, boots, haircuts, personal care packs and a warm meal.
The stand down also offers benefits assistance and services, as well as one-on-one housing and employment counseling, solutions and resources for homeless, at-risk and underemployed Veterans. Participants will personally meet with the more than 30 community organizations, over 150 volunteers and government agencies which have joined forces with the DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center to eliminate and prevent Veteran homelessness in the DC metropolitan area.
Winterhaven attendees who are underemployed and at-risk of homelessness will have access to resources to assist in foreclosure or rental eviction avoidance, utility bill assistance, managing finances, legal aid, education and employment counseling.
Major outreach events like Winterhaven are a crucial part of the medical center’s Health Care for the Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program. The most recent Point-in-Time Survey, a nation-wide HUD initiative which counts the number of homeless on a particular night in January, noted there are 484 homeless Veterans in the medical center’s catchment area. It is estimated that there may be twice as many Veterans in the area who are at risk of becoming homeless.
According to HCHV Coordinator Kevin Morton, events like Winterhaven are invaluable for at-risk and homeless Veterans. “It’s important to bring VA staff together with federal, local and state government agencies, Veteran Service Organizations, as well as corporate and non-profit community partners to offer a one-stop-shop opportunity of health care, benefits and resources.”
Eligible Veterans throughout the DC area will be provided free transportation from local shelters and public transportation stops including Brookland/CUA Station. For more information or to schedule media interviews and event coverage, please contact the Office of Public Affairs prior to the event at 202-745-4037 or visit: www.washingtondc.va.gov. During the event, call 240-223-7065.