WUFT News

Gainesville Stand Down Event Offers Homeless Veterans Food, Social Services

By on November 1st, 2013
Homeless veterans congregate at the second day of the 12th annual Alachua County Homeless Veterans Stand Down.

Carla Bayron/WUFT News

Homeless veterans congregate at the second day of the 12th annual Alachua County Homeless Veterans Stand Down.

Homeless veterans gathered at a Gainesville recreation center Friday morning for the second day of the 12th Annual Alachua County Homeless Veterans Stand Down Event.

The two-day event that was held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center aimed to offer homeless veterans with a one-stop shop of helpful services.

Stand Downs are collaborative events organized for homeless veterans that can provide food, clothing, counseling, and referrals to a variety of other necessary services, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. The first stand down was organized in 1988.

Many agencies, including FloridaWorks, St. Francis House, and Alachua County Social Services participated in the event and offered their various services to veterans who are struggling with their transition from life on the field to everyday life at home.

As volunteers passed out bags filled with clothing, beanies and other essentials, veterans were able to receive free hair cuts, eat a hot breakfast and meet with service providers.

Donald Ravingfeather, a 12-year Marine Veteran,  attended the event.

After an accident while serving, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and was discharged. He had no follow up treatment or support from the military.

“I went on a downhill spiral from there, because I’ve always had structure in my life from the military,” he said. “I had no structure after that, and I really didn’t know how to cope with society.”

Ravingfeather attended the event to visit the booths offering various social services, and he received information about food stamps and support programs.

“For me, coming out of prison and all of that, this event is very beneficial for my re-entry and transition into society,” he added.

Mary Jane Deedrick, senior counselor at the Alachua County Veteran Services Office, said the program has been very successful.

“Veterans have the opportunity to meet providers face to face in one location and to receive help,” she said.

Deedrick said a planning committee has already scheduled to meet at the start of 2014 to begin planning the next Homeless Veterans Stand Down event.


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

More Stories in Local

Retired Marine Cary Hill, unit commander of the Milton Lewis Young Marines, said "Freedom isn't free" during Memorial Day ceremonies at Forest Meadows Cemetery in Gainesville, Fla. Monday, May, 26, 2015.

Young Marines Honor Veterans On Memorial Day

Milton Lewis Young Marines honor veterans during Memorial Day ceremonies at Forest Meadows Cemetery in Gainesville. Mayor Ed Braddy and Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell were among the group that dedicated their speeches to veterans.


Roller Derby

Rolling to Recovery: Tattooed and Bruised

Camille Loose is a 30-year-old recovering methadone addict who may be better known to some by her roller derby name, Jane Dough. Loose turned to the sport to help overcome her past issues.


Park visitors enjoy a day in the crystal clear waters at Ichetucknee Springs State Park. Guests can enjoy tubing from the north entrance beginning Memorial Day Weekend.

Ichetucknee Springs Reopens Entrance for Memorial Day

Ichetucknee Springs is reopening the northern entrance of the park for Memorial Day weekend. 4,000 are expected to be in attendance during the three-day weekend.


Deputy County Manager Betty Baker speaks to the Gainesville City Commission on the need for regulations at the homeless camp Dignity Village. Thursday, commissioners approved to spend up to $50,000 to secure an emergency contract with a non-profit provider.

City Commission Grants Gainesville Management Of Dignity Village

Gainesville City Commission passes a motion for the management of Dignity Village. The motion begins the process of addressing safety issues and concerns regarding the logistics of the community.


Gina Eaton (left), a 34-year-old graduate student at UF, and Heather Petroccia, a 26-year-old Ph.D. student at UF, clean out buckets to prepare them to mix grout for the tiles.

Habitat For Humanity Build Programs Empower Women

National Women Build Week was May 2-10. Alachua Habitat for Humanity Women Build participated in the weeklong event.


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