On Saturday January 28, the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center was transformed into a bustling, one-stop resource haven for homeless and at-risk Veterans.
The 23rd annual Winterhaven Homeless Veterans Stand Down brought federal, local and state government agencies, Veteran Service Organizations, active duty service members as well as corporate and non-profit community partners, donors and sponsors together with one mission–to offer a full day of services to address the many contributing factors associated with homelessness.
This year, 513 homeless Veterans and 219 at-risk for homelessness were able to access primary and specialty health care to include: podiatry, optometry, HIV testing and mental health and substance abuse, employment and housing counseling. The Women’s Health Clinic provided care to 72 women Veterans.
Veterans were also able to meet one-on-one with employers offering on-the-spot hiring as well as local college and university representatives who were available to assist with education enrollment and vocational rehabilitation services. Veterans were also treated to hair cuts, personal care packages and warm meals.
Not all Winterhaven attendees are homeless. Many are underemployed and at-risk of homelessness. The event offered this population of Veterans access to resources that assist in foreclosure or rental eviction avoidance, utility bill payment plans, financial management, legal aid, and on-the-spot employment.
Community support, volunteerism and donations are a driving force in the success of this major outreach event. More than 60 community organizations and over 350 community volunteers helped make the day a success.
For more information about the stand down, please contact the Office of Public Affairs at 202-745-4037.