“HEROES IN THE SHADOWS” San Gabriel Valley Stand Down this November, 2012

October 10, 2012 • 1,021 views

South El Monte, CA –As part of a continuing mission to serve the needs of homeless Veterans in the San Gabriel Valley, San Gabriel Valley Veterans Employment Committee and Vet Hunters Project have once again assembled a coalition of community organizations, private industry and federal, state and local government entities to host the 2nd Annual “Heroes in the Shadows” Stand Down for homeless Veterans. The event scheduled is for the weekend of November 2 through 4, 2012 on the grounds of Whittier Narrow Park in the City of South El Monte across the street from the Army Reserve Center. Admission will be open to pre-registration and walk-up attendees from 8:00am – 10:00am each morning of the event.

During the event, attendees will be able to access basic services such as medical care, mental health and substance abuse counseling, aid in receiving Veterans benefits from federal and state Departments of Veterans Affairs, employment and housing assistance, all in a “one-stop” environment. Attendees will receive showers provided by the Army Reserve, new clothing, hot meals, as well as a second chance to connect with their fellow Veterans and enjoy a weekend away from the hardships they normally face. Last year over 400 homeless and at risk Veterans along with their Family members, were served in the same area, Whittier Narrows Park. This year we estimate approximately 400-600 Veterans and their dependants to take part over the three day event. Think about this, if housing the homeless is expensive, consider the cost of not housing them. The average chronically homeless person costs taxpayers $40,000 — the price of jail, mental institutions, emergency rooms. And after that $40,000 is spent, they are no closer to having a home.

In times of war, a Stand Down means a break from the battles. For some Veterans who fought those battles and came home to fight other conflicts in their private lives, struggles that left them lost and homeless, a Stand Down can be a chance to embark on the road back to their lives. For homeless Veterans, a Stand Down is a break from the street, the hunger, the despair, a time to connect with other Veterans, a time to find out what’s available to get them off the street and help them return to a life they once knew. We are working very hard daily to take away the word homeless away from Veteran. Those two words should never go together.

The 2012 Annual San Gabriel Stand Down is presented by San Gabriel Valley VEC and the Vet Hunters Project along with a coalition of community-based, non-profit organizations, private industry interests working alongside with federal, state and local government entities. For more information on the San Gabriel Valley Stand Down or for donation and volunteer opportunities, please visit the event websites at www.sgvvec.org or www.vethunters.org; or please contact The Vet Hunters Project Directly: President: Joe Leal at (909) 200-8960 or Joe@VetHunters.org or Executive Director: Mellanie Villarreal at (562) 246-7300 or Mell@VetHunters.org.

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