Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center
Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center will hold a Stand Down for Homeless Veterans at Church of the Highlands, located at 721 Rice Mine Road, Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The medical center, along with support from community partners, will have numerous services for veterans at the stand down including medical and mental health screenings, dental services, haircuts, crisis counseling, substance abuse recovery, credit counseling, legal services, housing information, vocational rehabilitation services, VA benefits, and other resources available in the community.
The term “stand down” is a military term used often with the Vietnam War, where troops got the opportunity to Stand Down from combat operations and take care of personal hygiene, get clean uniforms, enjoy warm meals, receive medical and dental care, mail and receive letters, and enjoy the camaraderie of friends in a safe environment.
The Tuscaloosa VA Homeless Program has worked in conjunction with the local Public Housing Authority, Salvation Army, Chamber of Commerce, Tuscaloosa Mayor’s Office and grantees Priority Veteran and Family Endeavors, and other agencies to eliminate and reduce homelessness. Because of these combined efforts there has been a 76.5% drop in homelessness in the local Tuscaloosa area since 2015.
“Because of the combined efforts of our medical center and the community, we are now at what VA calls “functional zero” regarding veteran homelessness,” said Damon Stevenson, Tuscaloosa VA spokesman. “We therefore now feel confident that we have a system in place where on any given day or night if a homeless veteran appears we can accommodate them.”
For more information about the Stand Down, contact Aaron Wade, homeless veterans coordinator, at 205-554-2000, ext. 4400.