- This event has passed.
November 5, 2011 - November 5, 2011
November is Homeless Awareness Month, so it is fitting that the Military Family Research Institute has organized a Stand Down in Lafayette, Ind., to serve the needs of the area's homeless veterans.
Nearly 76,000 veterans were homeless on a given night in 2009, according to estimates from the U.S. departments of Veteran Affairs (VA) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD). MFRI's Stand Down for homeless veterans will provide services and outreach in collaboration with a variety of local businesses, nonprofit organizations and community members. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 5 at Central Presbyterian Church, 31 N. 7th St.
"MFRI would like to thank all those who are providing services and resources at this event," said Martina Sternberg, assistant director of MFRI. "Our planning committee consisted of a group of dedicated individuals from the City of Lafayette, the American Red Cross, Lafayette Urban Ministries, and the United Way. They, and other local organizations, are working hard to make this a standout event for the community, and without their help this Stand Down would not be possible."
Indiana Rep. Sheila Klinker and Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski will take part in the ceremony that opens the event at 9 a.m. In addition to a wide variety of available services, guests will be treated to live music and lunch.
Created during the Vietnam War, Stand Downs originally provided military members time away from the battlefield. Early Stand Downs allowed soldiers to rest from combat, take care of personal hygiene, enjoy warm meals, receive medical and dental care, and enjoy the camaraderie of battle buddies in a safe environment. In much the same spirit, this Stand Down is designed to give veterans a rest from the combat of homelessness.
The first Stand Down for homeless veterans was created in 1988 by a group of San Diego Vietnam veterans, according to the National Center for Homeless Veterans. Since then, such Stand Downs have become widely used in outreach and volunteer efforts on behalf of the homeless. The Lafayette event is part of the community's contribution to the White House Interfaith Initiative for Campus and Community, and the kick-off event for the area's Veteran Appreciation Week.