Bay Pines VA to host Stand Down for Homeless Veterans on April 8 - Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

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Bay Pines VA to host Stand Down for Homeless Veterans on April 8

April 7, 2017

BAY PINES, Fla. – The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) will host a Stand Down for Homeless Veterans event on Saturday, April 8, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.  The event will take place in the courtyard located between buildings 2 and 37 at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center.
The Stand Down will offer an array of services to homeless Veterans and those at risk of homelessness. Available resources will include medical screening, free meals, toiletries, haircuts, foot washing, clothing items, benefits and housing information, employment resources, drawings and more. The Stand Down will again feature a Stand Down Court. The court will provide an opportunity for Veterans to speak with legal experts, a public defender, and others to address outstanding legal issues. In some cases, the court may be able to reduce or dismiss fines or legal fees for Veterans with outstanding active misdemeanor warrants and other legal obligations. Last year, nearly 400 Veterans attended the Stand Down, 83 of those Veterans were assisted by the court.
Veterans interested in attending Stand Down should bring a copy of their DD214 "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty,” birth certificate, social security card and two documents that can verify their mailing address. Veterans who currently reside in a shelter are also encouraged to furnish a copy of their shelter statement. Veterans who cannot furnish documentation are still encouraged to attend and will be provided assistance.
“We are committed to providing as much support as possible to the brave men and women who sacrificed so much for the nation,” said Suzanne M. Klinker, Director, Bay Pines VAHCS. “These same men and women should never be without a pillow to rest their heads at night or without care and support.”
“Through events like our annual Stand Down for Homeless Veterans, and other outreach efforts across the communities we serve, we are able to collaborate with Veteran advocates and local agencies to help homeless Veterans and those at risk. Our collective goal is to provide a system of support which includes housing, medical care, legal assistance, job training and more. It is also an opportunity to thank them for their military service,” she said.
Over the years, the Bay Pines VAHCS has participated in, and hosted, numerous stand down events across the area the system serves, said Blossom Kapper, Social Worker and Stand Down Event Coordinator, Bay Pines VAHCS.  
“Stand down events have simplified Veterans’ access to homeless programs and services, and removed barriers to important VA and community resources,” she said.
In 2016, the Bay Pines VAHCS served nearly 5,500 homeless Veterans or those at risk for homelessness due to outreach programs, services and collaboratiive activities with partners inside and outside the federal government. 
To learn more about the upcoming Stand Down for Homeless Veterans, please call 727-398-6661 extension 17829.
This event is open to the media.  For media inquiries or advanced information, please call Jason Dangel, Public Affairs Officer, at 727-398-9531, or 727-798-1531.