Stand Down event aims to help homeless veterans, families

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Hundreds of homeless veterans are expected to attend the annual "Homeless Stand Down" Wednesday.

The Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita and the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) charitable organization are holding the event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hyde Park, 201 S Greenwood St.

"Stand Down" events are held across the country for veterans, but the VA and the DAV have opened the event up to anyone living without a home. Organizers say the event will have 52 vendors to provide people with flu shots, haircuts, jobs, and affordable housing.

Eric Owens served in the military for more than 17 years. Now, he works for the DAV.

"The veterans administration has given me four heart surgeries, a full hip replacement, a full set of teeth, and new eyes," Owens said.

Suzanne Jenkins, who was a first responder at the Pentagon 18-years-old, says the event falling on 9/11 is not a coincidence.

"Bringing the community together to be able to do something like this - to help people that are the most in need, I think is the most ultimate way to honor that day," Jenkins said. "Homelessness isn't just about not having a place to live. There's so much more to it and that's why we have to have so much of a coordinated, collaborative effort such as this Stand Down event."

Not only serving veterans, but also anyone who needs help.

Organizers say there will be shuttles running to and from the VA and the United Methodist Open Door.