WUFT News

Homeless veterans event sees growth in services, volunteers

By on September 13th, 2012

By Dana Winter – WUFT-FM

In its eleventh year, the Alachua County Homeless Veterans Stand Down had a new problem to deal with.

“This year we were scrambling to find enough tables for all our service providers and still have tables for our veterans to sit down for lunch,” said Theresa Lowe, the director of the Gainesville/Alachua County Office on Homelessness.

That problem was symptomatic of an event that grows every year. The annual service was held this year in the Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center in Gainesville.

The original Stand Down was modeled after the concept used during the Vietnam War to provide a safe retreat for units returning from combat operations, according to an Alachua Country release.

Multiple non-profit organizations, as well as state and federal agencies, were on hand to offer services and information for the homeless vets.

It wasn’t just those seeking services who attended. Lowe said with the added interest, they needed help setting up. Some veterans, who previously came to the Stand Down event seeking services, now volunteer to give back to it.

“A lot of veterans from the Honor Center and other veteran housing programs are volunteering this year,” she said.

Although there are many homeless programs in Alachua County, this one is targeted primarialy at veterans. The event usually occurs once a year, but Lowe says her office has identified a potential grant to expand services.

One of the orginizations at the Stand Down, the Department of Children and Families are familiar with events like this. Cheryl Twombly, a Department of Children and Families partner liaison, said they want to help as many veterans as possible.

Twombly says they want the application process for programs such as Medicaid to be as simple and quick as possible. Often, the veterans can fill out the applications they need right at the event.

With information all over the Internet, DCF has made itself as accessible as possible. Twombly says educating the community on how DCF can help them is key.

“We’re out all the time,” she said. “We go to different homeless events, we go to children’s events — basically, making sure the community is aware on how to access our programs.”

WUFT’s Web team edited this story online.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

Bo Diddley One

Tallahassee Homeless Ordinance Creates Conversation In Gainesville

A potential ordinance in Tallahassee, which would strictly limit the presence of homeless people in public places, was discussed Friday. Some Gainesville officials are advocating for a more collaborative way to address the issue.


The band members of Guts, from left to right: Kara Smith, bass and vocals; Samantha Jones, guitar, bass, drums and vocals; Kentucky Costellow, drums; and Rebecca Butler, keys and tenor ukulele. Guts plays for campers in the Gainesville Girls Rock Camp on Friday after lunch. The camp, which is in its third year, focuses on using music to empower young girls. Christine Preston / WUFT News

Rock Camp Empowers Young Girls In Gainesville

The Gainesville Girls Rock Camp uses music to empower young girls and teens. Girls gain self-confidence throughout the program and learn to encourage each another.


Signs indicating unsafe levels of bacteria in Hogtown Creek were posted in June, according to Linda Demetropoulos, nature manager of the city of Gainesville Parks Department. Visitors can find these signs around various areas of local parks.

Hogtown Creek Bacteria Levels Unsafe For Human Use

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department has found unsafe levels of bacteria in Hogtown Creek waters.


I-75 at MM385 is backed up due to manhunt. Photo via @GACSmarttraffic.

I-75 Shut Down After Trooper Involved In Shooting

Update 7/27/2015 at 7:15 p.m.: The suspect has been identified as Earl Jackson, according to a news release from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.


Kristen Hadeed, founder of Student Maid, and Rich Blaser, co-founder of Infinite Energy, explain how Josh impacted the start-up community in Gainesville. They were part of a group of young entrepreneurs in Gainesville who met monthly to discuss their work.

Memorial Held for Gainesville Entrepreneur

A memorial for Josh Greenberg, the co-founder of music streaming service Grooveshark, was held Friday evening at the Phillips Center. He was found dead in his home July 19.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments