Thursday, September 20, 2012

Orange County Veterans Stand Down 2012

The Orange County Stand Down is a 3-day event, set up like a military base camp in which homeless and at-risk veterans as well as their families will be able to come on off the streets and receive basic social services from a variety community and government agencies.

Medical, Dental and Vision Exam and Care

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling

Veterans & Social Security Benefits

Identification and Assistance

Employment and Housing Assistance

Legal Assistance and Homeless Court

Children's Services

Food and Shelter

We toured the grounds and met with representatives from many of the booths and tents (sponsors). When we were checking-in, we noticed there was another Saddleback member going to volunteer.

   It was good to see Celebrate Recovery (below) and fellow believers in Christ at the event. It was no accident that they too, were creating a ministry aimed at serving veterans.  

  These tents (below) were housing veterans and families. It was available to use for as long  as the event lasted. We noticed some of the tents were being put to good use.

   Long Beach VA showed up with its big tour bus (below) to provide health checks and other assistance.  

 The Orange County Public Defender's office was on-hand to provide assistance. California has a one-of-a-kind veterans court program. 

Here are the website links to the Veterans Court of Orange County and Combat Veterans Court. 

Veterans Court offers a therapeutic alternative and support services to US military service personnel who become involved with the criminal justice system, and who are in need of effective mental health treatment to address issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder “PTSD”, Traumatic Brain Injury “TBI” and other serious mental health problems. Veterans Court, which opened in November 2008 at the Community Court building, is a collaborative partnership with the Veterans Administration, which has funded a full-time case manager, and with other State and local veteran service providers.

Did you know? 

Veterans are over-represented among the homeless population. Veterans represent less than 9% of the population nationally, but they represent 15.2% of the homeless population. This is consistent with VA and HUD data on Veteran’s homelessness, which indicate that veterans are over-represented among the ranks of the nation’s homeless with 17% of homeless adults reported as veterans.

Veterans tend to be homeless longer than non-veterans:
  • Homeless veterans reported an average of nearly six years homeless, compared to four years among non-veterans.

  • Among those which were two or more years homeless, veterans reported an average of nine years homeless compared to seven years for non-veterans.

Homeless persons over the age of 60 are more likely to be a veteran:
  • Over 21% of homeless veterans reported an age over 60, compared to 9.4% of non-veterans.

  • Age does not fully explain the longer duration of homelessness among veterans.

The men and women who risked their lives defending America may be far more likely to die on its streets than non-veterans. 

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