The first Stand Down was held in San Diego, CA in 1988. Today, more than 200 Stand Downs are held across the country each year. Stand Downs give Veterans the opportunity to access countless resources all in one place.
The 2015 Chicago Stand Down was held at the General Jones National Guard Armory on June 26 and 27. Veterans in the Chicago area had access to many services including medical care, legal assistance, food, haircuts, employment assistance, and information about what benefits and other resources are available to them. In addition to these services, the event encouraged Veterans to connect with each other, and served as a great place for Veterans facing homelessness to get connected to housing solutions.
CSH, the systems coordinator for Chicago’s Ending Veteran Homelessness Initiative, organized staff from across the City to complete assessments with Veterans in order to match people to housing interventions. Using one by-name registry of all Veterans experiencing homelessness through the Homeless Management Information System platform, this initiative aims to end homelessness by the end of 2015 for all Veterans, and the first step is identifying and assessing Veterans in need of permanent housing.
By gaining access to those in greatest need through outreach efforts such as the Chicago Stand Down, the Ending Veteran Homelessness Initiative is able to provide support for Veterans experiencing homelessness by guiding them to resources to rebuild their lives, the greatest of which is a place to call home.