Monterey County

Monterey County veterans "Stand Down" this weekend

Homeless veterans will receive vital services free of charge

FORT ORD, Calif. - Monterey County's homeless veterans will have a community of their own for 3 days beginning at noon on August 1. During the Stand Down homeless veterans, men, women and families will have access to free medical and dental care.

"Our Stand Down," says Terry Bare, executive director of the Veterans Transition Center, "is fully encompassing. Our goal is to get our veterans back on their feet. If we can we can provide opportunity and hope, then we've done our job."

Construction of the homeless veteran community begins at the old Ft. Ord motor pool at 8 a.m.Wednesday, July 30, when all supplies will be moved on site. Included in the initial move are tents, golf carts, clothing to be given away free and supplies such as cots and other infrastructure gear. Once all supplies are offloaded, construction of the tents will begin.

Support services vehicles will be moved on site Thursday and hooked up to power and plumbing where needed.

The Stand Down's Opening Ceremonies begin at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the main gate to the newly completed temporary village. Homeless veterans will be bussed, free of charge to the registration area. Congressman Sam Farr and State Senator Bill Monning are expected to welcome the veterans.

After that, the gates will open and the homeless veterans will be invited in. Inside the gates each veteran will have his or her veteran's status verified. If individuals do not have proof of service specialists will find their status and immediately give them a copy of their DD-214.

During the Stand Down homeless veterans, men, women and families will have access to free medical and dental care. They will also have the option of going before judges from several California counties and have their minor misdemeanors erased. By taking care of minor legal problems the homeless veteran has the opportunity to get a job.

On hand too will be veterinarians and SPCA staff to examine and care for homeless veteran's pets.

Tax deductible donations are still needed. Mail your contribution to Monterey County Stand Down, c/o Veterans Transition Center, 220 12th Street, Marina, CA 93933, Attention: Marlene.

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