SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Military veterans aren’t immune to tough times and even homelessness.
Veterans Stand Down provides supplies and services to military veterans, especially those experiencing homelessness.
“They can come here and get haircuts, they can come here and get clothes, winter coats, winter boots, medical needs met, dental needs met, just about everything you can think of,” Volunteers of America, Dakotas Director of Veteran Services Paul Miller said.
About 40 service organizations will participate in Friday’s event at The South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance in Sioux Falls.
“I’ve met veterans in our front lobby that are standing there weeping, looking for help, trying to get the assistance that they need. They fought for this country, now it’s our turn to help them,” The Alliance Executive Director Brian Phelps said.
“They’re no different than you or I, they just landed on some rough times, which could happen to all of us at some point in life,” Miller said.
Veterans Stand Down doesn’t happen overnight or alone. More than a dozen agencies are part of a committee that started meeting in March to plan the event.
“We can do amazing things as one agency, but when we all can collaborate we can get the job done, we can get the veterans the help we need,” Miller said.
“We’ve got veterans talking to groups that they’ve never talked to and didn’t know they could get the support that they need to help them with homelessness, being hungry,” Phelps said.
It’s a single-day event, but The Alliance is always willing to help veterans.
“We had a veteran in here recently that needed some family assistance. He was able to meet with the different people here at The Alliance and he came in the next day with his family to say thank you for the help,” Phelps said.
Veterans Stand Down starts at 9:00 Friday morning at The Alliance.
Rides are available to and from the event at locations across Sioux Falls, including the V.A., Bishop Dudley Hospitality House, and Union Gospel Mission.