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Stand Down

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 10.18.2014
For Immediate Release
Contact: Judith Bowman
judy@robeytheatrecompany.org
626.486.2460

Coalition Accepts Mayor’s Challenge to Ease Road Home for Homeless Veterans

Los Angeles. The Veterans Project, Dramastage-Qumran, 10X and the Robey Theatre Company present the 3rd Annual Downtown LA Stand Down (DLA Stand Down) for military veterans in need, on Saturday, November 15, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Vortex located at 2341 East Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90021 (between Mateo & Santa Fe). Free street and lot parking will be available.

“Stand Down” is a military term for a time of rest and recovery for exhausted combat units. Today Stand Down refers to the grassroots, community-based outreach program designed to help the nation’s estimated 200,000 homeless veterans “combat” life on the streets. Currently there are over 100 Stand Downs held each year around the nation. It is estimated that there are 80,000 homeless on any given night in LA. That number appears to be decreasing, but one veteran without comfortable shelter encourages us to continue and find others working to erase the number completely. At least 20% of that number –one in five — has served their country with military service!

The DTLA Stand Down planning committee expects over two hundred men and women will attend this year’s repeat event. Services to be offered include:

  • Free haircuts
  • Mobile medical exams
  • Confidential mental health counseling
  • Housing eligibility screening
  • Shelter and housing referrals
  • Registration for VA Services
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Legal advice
  • Personal hygiene kit give-away’s
  • Gently-used clothes give-away
  • Art Therapy
  • Relaxation & Comfort Dogs

A hot breakfast and a nutritious lunch will be provided and served.  Entertainment this year will include local bands and other performers, a film and hands-on art making experiences.

We are pleased to have service providers representing many aspects of recovery efforts designed to ease life for our veterans. We are especially pleased to have funding support once again from CalVets.

Melvin Ishmael Johnson, one of the event coordinators, explains his involvement: “I’m a Marine (1969-71) and really proud of my service. After the service, my life was pretty much a wreck for a lot of years and I didn’t know why. It took a while to find out about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and even longer to fight through the effects. I discovered a voice as a writer. My work (“Surviving the Nickel”) introduces the tough life that awaits many a veteran after his or her service is over. Focusing one time each year on men and women who find themselves today where I was 40 years ago is my way of saying, ‘Here, take my hand’.”

For all who served and for those that did not, the Stand Down is a way to extend that hand to less fortunate veterans who need our help.

Thanks to The Veterans Project and the service providers in its network, I received financial, legal and career assistance that really made a difference in my life. They don’t help only homeless or destitute veterans. They facilitate partnerships and opportunities even for veterans who are making great strides. It’s not about handouts so much as it’s about harnessing talent for the betterment of society. – Rick Reyes, (Ret.) USMC

Volunteers and cash or in-kind donations are still needed. No gift or amount of time is too small. To donate, please mail checks made payable to “S.E.E./The Veterans Project” and addressed to The Veterans Project, P.O. Box 75014 Los Angeles, CA 90020

Donations can be made online at https://www.crowdrise.com/standdown/fundraiser/melvinjohnson.
For more information please visit www.theveteransproject.org
or call 310.621.4659.

Contributions to:
The Veterans Project www.TheVeteransProject.org
Dramastage Qumran www.dramastage-qumran.org
or to the Robey Theatre Company www,robeytheatrecompany.org are tax deductible.
The Robey Theatre Company serves as fiscal sponsor Tax ID #: 95-4564423