Stand Down events are designed to provide homeless veterans access to community resources in a single location.
VA staff and volunteers provide food, clothing and health screenings, referrals for health care, available housing solutions, employment, substance use treatment, mental health counseling and other essential services.
The concept of Stand Down, as related specifically to the homeless veteran crisis, was the brainchild of two Vietnam Veterans, Robert Van Keuren and Dr. Jon Nachison, with the support of Vietnam Veterans of San Diego. The first Stand Down was held in San Diego during the summer of 1988. It is estimated that in 2009 alone more than 42,000 homeless veterans received assistance at Stand Downs.