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Fairbanks volunteers prepare to offer ‘Veteran Stand Down’ event for homeless veterans

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 4:13 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Volunteers in partnership with the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) have been preparing to host ‘Veteran Stand Down’ event to provide resources for homeless veterans.

According to Philip G. Newton, a volunteer with Veteran Stand Down, the annual event seeks to provide homeless veterans with supplies and services.

“Veteran Stand Down is a once a year event,” Newton explained. “It’s kind of a loose group of volunteers that get together that work with the VA to bring veterans in need - mostly homeless veterans - needed medical supplies, [and] cold weather equipment to kind of help them get through the winter. We provide some food, and then there are services that offer everything from medical health service, mental health services, to just support agencies that kind of help get vets that are in need through a pretty tough time.”

In the past, the event was held over the course of two days. However, due to COVID-19, the event will be taking place on one day this year.

“This year, as a result of COVID we have a limited time slot,” Newton continued. “Normally we do it for two days, Friday and Saturday. In this case we’re going to do it Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and in that time period we’re going to have medical screening, we’re going to have food here, we’re going to have folks here that can offer different VA benefits and programs to kind of explain to them what’s out there to kind of help them go after jobs, or again the medical’s a big piece, or just basically any service that we can offer the vets will be available nine to two.”

According to Newton, there are a variety of ways that residents can contribute and volunteer for the event. “Just coming out here and spending some time with veterans, sharing stories is huge,” he said. “There’s an outreach portion of Veterans Stand Down that’s super important, and then of course from nine to two anybody who just wants to come out... if there’s something to be done whether it’s helping serve food, helping carry some of the clothing items the vets will pick up while they’re here, or just simply having a cup of coffee with somebody.”

The Veteran Stand Down event will take place Saturday, October 16th, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts building at Pioneer Park.

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