Army Veteran Omedia Jordan made his way through a long line of Veterans hugging a hallway inside the 100-acre Dallas VA Medical Center campus. The line ended at the entrance to a gymnasium that was full of area Veterans Service Organizations, service groups and supportive services.
All were there to provide resources to Veterans in need during VA North Texas’ 28th annual Homeless Veteran Stand Down.
Pictured above, Army Veteran John Powell receives a haircut by Natalie Pintor from Sol Barber and Styling Academy during the Homeless Veteran Stand Down held at the Dallas VA Medical Center.
“It’s cold and rainy outside today, but I knew I needed to get here for these services,” said Jordan.
Clothing, hygiene products and health care information
More than 400 Veterans and 200 volunteers ventured through rain storms to attend and equip the stand down event. The event provides homeless and at risk of being homeless Veterans with clothing, shoes and hygiene supplies.
Social service providers and health care services and treatment programs volunteers also provided information.
“This event is primarily about providing resources to our homeless and at-risk Veterans, especially those who we do not see during our outreach efforts” said Linda Saucedo. Saucedo is the program manager for VA North Texas’ Health Care for Homeless Veterans and Community Resource and Referrals Center.
Army Veteran Stephen Kiker receives a pair of combat boots from VA employee Yael Gowens during the Stand Down held at the Dallas VA Medical Center.
VA North Texas is the largest provider of mental health care and homeless outreach services in all of VA.
Volunteers gave Veterans, including Jordan, a duffel bag. They also led them through the event so they could meet people at each table. Jordan received needed items, such as socks, t-shirts, a backpack, a cap and scarf and a pair of combat boots.
Volunteers checked blood pressure, gave flu shots and offered a free haircut courtesy of a local barber academy.
“This is a real good event,” says Jordan. “I got a lot of great information and I really appreciate everyone who helped me out today.”
Jennifer Roy is a public affairs specialist with VA North Texas Health Care System.