Veterans Village of San Diego is pumping back up its annual Stand Down event.
Following abbreviated events due to the pandemic, Stand Down 2023 is set to return to an unrestricted, three-day event, to be held this year July 20-22 at Pechanga Arena in San Diego’s Midway District.
“The past three years were perhaps the most difficult period in recent history due to COVID,” said Veterans Village CEO Akilah Templeton. “Despite the challenges, Veterans Village of San Diego continued to show up for veterans in the San Diego community by hosting one-day Stand Down events in 2020 and 2021 and the traditional three-day Stand Down event in 2022, which still had many restrictions due to COVID. We look forward to hosting the 2023 Veterans Village of San Diego Stand Down event in July without the restrictions of the past three years.”
This year’s Stand Down event will provide three days and two overnights of shelter and comprehensive services including meals, community support, medical, legal, housing referrals, and benefits counseling services for over 400 veterans and veteran families.
Stand Down events have proven to be an effective way to address the needs of homeless veterans and to help them transition out of homelessness.
“There’s a huge emphasis on ending veteran homelessness by 2025,” said Kimberley Monday, Veterans Village of San Diego vice president of development and communications. “We’re looking at permanent housing. We want to be able to drive people from the event directly to their apartment, give them the keys and say, ‘This is your new home.’ We can’t do that for every single person that comes in, but what we do is we still work with them in all our different programs, especially for alcohol, drugs and mental health – and then they graduate to permanent housing.”
This year’s event will also have “much more happening” with job training, employment assistance and opportunities to meet with potential employers like Hewlett Packard, Northrop Grumman and other event sponsors,” Monday said. The event currently has over 55 business and community sponsors and volunteers. Applications to sponsor or volunteer are still open.
In addition to Stand Down, Veterans Village is holding a Drive-Thru Clothing Drive June 2 at its main campus, 4141 Pacific Highway. For more information, visit vvsd.net.