MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW)- The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center along with the Myrtle Beach VA Outpatient Clinic, partnered with AARP South Carolina and the Veteran’s Welcome Home and Resource Center, for the 3rd annual Myrtle Beach Stand Down for Homeless Veterans.
The goal of the event is to reach Veterans impacted by homelessness and connect them with programs and support services. Close to two hundred veterans attended Friday’s Stand Down and volunteers say community support is a big part of its success.
“To see an entire community come together to help those who have served our country so well and aren’t asking for much. I mean we really have to find these guys and bring them here. To bring them here and give them the service they need and to do it together as a community, it’s to me just about the most,” Scott Perez said.
Veterans who attended were offered two hot meals, haircuts, showers, clothing, personal items, opportunities for a variety of health screenings and much more.
It’s something that allows them to bond and share with other veterans.
“I’m not like this around everybody and it took me years to get over a lot of things that depressed me. But being around other veterans is rewarding and therapeutic,” Gulf War Veteran Quinn Reels the Third said.
Several Veterans who attended say they know what it’s like to transition into civilian life and not have anything which is why the Stand Downs are so important.
“It wasn’t a very pleasant feeling to be homeless. I lived in the back of a U-haul truck in the winter time. We lived in hotels and stuff. I think what’s going on here today is a wonderful thing,” Granada War Veteran Elijah Green said.
Representatives from more than 30 social service agencies provided information and outreach on a variety of services including housing options, job resources, resume writing tips, substance abuse treatment, income tax assistance, and access to Social Security and VA services.