Linn County Veteran Affairs, in partnership with the Cedar Rapids Metro Area Veterans Council, the Iowa City VA Medical Center, and the Linn County Continuum of Care will hold Linn County’s ninth annual Stand Down for homeless and near-homeless veterans and non-veterans Friday, September 5 at Veterans Memorial Stadium, 950 Rockford Rd. SW in Cedar Rapids, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.
The Five Seasons Stand Down helps people who are homeless or near-homeless transition to community living by providing access to human service agencies, including benefits counseling (Social Security and Veterans), employment and training assistance, health care screenings, housing services, legal assistance, mental health treatment and substance abuse counseling. More than 70 service agencies will participate in this year’s Stand Down and several of them will offer classes to Stand Down attendees.
“This is a great example of the community in action. Local veterans organizations and other agencies that serve the homeless or near homeless collaborate to connect participants to a variety of needed resources,” said Don Tyne, director of Linn County Veteran Affairs and one of the Stand Down organizers. “Our goal is to put Stand Down participants in touch with services that will help them become self-sufficient, and for those who are veterans, to successfully transition back to civilian life.”
There is no cost to attend; however, participants are encouraged to pre-register at one of the following locations or call the Linn County Veteran Affairs office at (319) 892-5160:
• Iowa Veterans Welcome Center
• Linn County General Assistance
• Linn County Veteran Affairs
• VA Outreach Center
Pre-registering is not required, but will help organizers plan for individual needs.
Schedule of Events:
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Check-in (for those pre-registered)
8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Registration (for those NOT pre-registered)
8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Class Session I
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Resource Fair
10:00 a.m. Registration closes: Participants will not be allowed in the gates after this time.)
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Class Session II
1:30 p.m. – 2:15 Class Session III
2:30 p.m. Check-out and Prize Drawings
The Stand Down is funded in part by the Linn County Board of Supervisors Witwer Trust, local veteran service organizations, area businesses and other interested donors. The event is hosted by the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
For more information visit www.VetsStandDown.org.
The Five Seasons Stand Down connects homeless or near-homeless veterans and non-veterans to services that assist them in transitioning to community living. These service “connections” take place in a respectful, caring and friendly environment.
About Stand Downs
Stand Down is a term used in times of war in which exhausted combat units come off the battlefield to rest and recover in a place of safety. Today, Stand Down also refers to a community-based program that provides homeless and near-homeless veterans with food, shelter, clothing, basic medical exams, and assistance or referrals for social services such as housing, legal matters, mental health and substance abuse issues and job counseling.
According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the first Stand Down was organized in 1988 by a group of Vietnam Veterans in San Diego. Since then, Stand Downs have been used as an effective tool in reaching out to homeless veterans, reaching more than 200,000 veterans and their family members.