Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, in partnership with Palmetto Goodwill and Palmetto Warrior Connection, will hold its 19th Annual Stand Down Against Homelessness on Friday, Oct. 19 at the VA Community Resource and Referral Center, 2424 City Hall Lane, North Charleston, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The event will offer medical screenings and assistance, clothing, food, haircuts, and legal counseling for homeless Veterans in the greater Charleston area. Job assistance and opportunities to speak with local employers will be available for those seeking work. The focus of the event is on Veterans who are living on the streets or close to it. The goal is to get Veterans the resources they need to get back on their feet and set the foundation for a successful future.
“This is now the fourth year we will be hosting Stand Down at our Community Resource and Referral Center,” said Charleston VAMC Director of Mental Health Dr. Hugh Myrick. “Our CRRC is a place where Veterans in need can step through the doors and get the wrap-around support they need to back on their feet. Stand Down is a great event to reach Veterans at-risk of homelessness, but our goal is to help our Veterans all year—and we do that here at the CRRC, at our medical center and at each of our outpatient clinics.”
In fiscal year 2017 and 2018, the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center issued 649 HUD-VASH vouchers along the South Carolina and Georgia coast, utilizing their entire allotment of vouchers. The HUD-VASH Program combines the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless veterans and their families with case management and clinical services provided by the VA. For 2019, Charleston VAMC was issued seven new vouchers in the City of Charleston, eight new vouchers in Beaufort, and nine new vouchers in Myrtle Beach, totaling $143,297 in additional HUD-VASH funding to house Veterans.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is the only Federal agency that provides substantial hands-on assistance directly to homeless persons. The mission is considered essential for VA as they strive to eliminate homelessness amongst those who have served our nation.