Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Stand Down event at Bay Pines seeks to help homeless vets

SEMINOLE — Homeless veterans and those at risk of becoming homeless are the targets of a Stand Down event Saturday at Bay Pines VA Medical Center.

January's street count of the homeless in Pinellas County by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development revealed that a quarter of the 5,887 people who were counted identified themselves as veterans. Officials at Bay Pines hope to help curb those numbers.

"Each year we host a variety of events in the areas this facility serves — including Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, De Soto, Hardee, Charlotte, Lee, Collier and Highlands counties," said Faith E. Belcher, public affairs officer at Bay Pines.

The event is modeled after the Stand Down concept the military used during the Vietnam War. It provided a safe retreat for soldiers returning from combat.

"It's a one-stop shop for veterans to get connected with whatever they need to help them get off the street," she said.

With more veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan during tough economic times, officials want to make sure they are aware of the programs and services available.

"There is certainly a great deal of needs that our veterans are facing," she said. "We want them to be able to take care of the issues that may contribute to them being homeless, like substance abuse."

Officials from a variety of VA and community services will be on hand to assist veterans with treatment options for addiction, mental health and vocational rehabilitation.

"This will be the first time we've held it on our campus," Belcher said. "In 2010, we held our event in conjunction with Project Homeless Connect, which was open to all homeless individuals in Pinellas County."

At Saturday's event, landlords will be on hand to discuss leasing options for potential tenants.

The event will include free flu shots, dental screenings, community and VA housing programs, employment and educational opportunities and legal information and assistance.

Sandra J. Gadsden can be reached at sgadsden@sptimes.com or at (727) 893-8874.

The Stand Down event is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Bay Pines VA Medical Center, 10000 Bay Pines Blvd., Seminole.

Stand Down event at Bay Pines seeks to help homeless vets 10/18/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 5:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  2. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.
  3. Steven Souza Jr. vindicating big trade for Rays

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — There was a time when the three-team, 11-player transaction the Rays orchestrated to get Steven Souza Jr. from the Nationals looked liked a bad deal.

    The Rays’ Steven Souza Jr. has 30 home runs this season while improving his defense and baserunning but wants to improve on his .236 batting average.
  4. Fennelly: Lightning's Manon Rheaume made history 25 years ago Saturday

    Lightning Strikes

    The name is part of Lightning history, hockey history, sports history.

    Lightning goalie Manon Rheaume became the first woman to play in an NHL game 25 years ago today.
  5. Investigators reviewing HHS chief's private charter flights

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Federal investigators are examining Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price's recent use of costly charter flights on the taxpayers' dime for official business.