Local VA Helps Homeless Veterans This ‘Make A Difference Day’

NEW ORLEANS – Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System and partners will host a “Stand Down for Homeless Veterans” Saturday, Oct. 28, at the new veterans medical center on 399 S. Galvez St., from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., to provide care and highlight regional services for homeless veterans, their families and those at risk of becoming homeless.

         “These veterans can be considered our most vulnerable population so this ‘Make a Difference Day,’ we are reaching out to them to offer services that can make a difference to their health and wellbeing,” said SLVHCS medical center director Fernando O. Rivera, FACHE. “We’ll be completing medical screenings, providing hot meals, clothing and other resources for those who need it.”

         Thanks to many partners throughout the city, New Orleans effectively ended veteran homelessness in 2015 and has been able to maintain a level of functional zero since then due to events such as these, reps said.

         At this year’s Stand Down, approximately 20 veterans service organizations and community partners, such as the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary, Coca-Cola, American Legion Auxiliary and many more, have come together to provide food, clothing as well as information about other resources available to homeless veterans throughout the region, while VA staff provides health care screenings and services such as medical, pharmacy, dental, podiatry and mental health.

         More than 200 volunteers participate in this community event, and the volume of donations grow each year, reps said. Donations of non-perishable, single-serving food items, new undergarments and toiletries for men and women are provided at this event through the generosity of many donors, reps said.

         Contact VA Voluntary Service for more information on opportunities to donate and volunteer at the Stand Down or throughout the year at the new veterans medical center by calling (504) 507-2033 or via email at vhanolvoluntaryservice@va.gov.

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