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DHS News August 2012

A Day of Respite for Local Veterans

On August 11, DHS co-sponsored Stand Down 2012, an intensive service fair for homeless veterans and their families, offering them a daylong respite from the streets and a real opportunity to put their lives back together.

More than 550 veterans and civilians attended the 2012 event, which included 55 service providers in the areas of behavioral health, employment and education, housing and shelters, medical, and supportive services. In addition to receiving information about available services from the providers, attendees were also able to receive haircuts, vision and medical screenings, foot care, chiropractic adjustments, showers and food, all free of charge.

“Our veterans did not hesitate to answer the call in defense of our freedoms. We as a community should never hesitate to answer their call for help which they so honorably deserve,” said Rich Venezia, administrator, Bureau of Homeless Services. “The Allegheny County Department of Human Services is honored to again assist the many Pittsburgh community sponsors in providing services and linkages to our homeless veterans and their families at Stand Down 2012.”

The phrase “stand down” is a military term referring to fresh troops providing a reprieve for exhausted combat troops. In stand down, the exhausted troops are removed from the battlefield and placed in a safe, secure environment. When in stand down, the soldiers are also given medical attention, food, fresh clothing and the chance to clean up, rest and recuperate.

Stand Down 2012 was co-sponsored by DHS, Disabled American Veterans, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Operation Safety Net, Pennsylvania CareerLink, Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship, VA Healthcare for Homeless Veterans, and Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania.

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