Sacramento Stand Down Unique Approach
Sacramento Stand Down History
The Sacramento Stand Down Association has been operational since 1992. For more than two decades, volunteers from the Sacramento area have mobilized to serve approximately 350 homeless and at-risk veterans and their dependents.
The Sacramento Stand Down has provided essential services and comfort to approximately 8,000 veterans and their dependents over the years, serving about 54,000 hot meals as well as haircuts, showers, new shoes, sleeping bags, underwear, and new or lightly used clothing.
Thousands of veterans have received duplicate copies of their discharge papers, military identification cards, drivers’ licenses, and connected with many federal agencies who are onsite during Stand Down, such as the Veterans Administration, Social Security Administration, Department of Labor, Employment Development Department, and the Department of Motor Vehicles. Medical services are also available through the Veterans Administration medical staff as well as dental work, and a wide variety of counseling activities.
Among the most important functions to thousands of veterans has been the onsite court system where, in exchange for community service assignments performed during Stand Down, veterans can have their misdemeanor warrants adjudicated by a judge (for example, light rail pass violations) which allows their records to be cleared and render the veterans more employable.
Many of the “graduates” of the Sacramento Stand Down come back and serve their fellow veterans as “tent leaders” where each tent of 16 – 20 veterans has someone in charge, a military standard operating procedure with which all veterans are familiar.
The Sacramento Stand Down will be held at Mather Field east of Sacramento on Highway 50 (Mather Field exit). We need hundreds of volunteers for Stand Down to be successful. Roles range from security personnel, food preparation, paperwork and data collection, communications, and many others.
Why this Unique Approach?
A Stand Down brings together various agencies and service providers to provide a comprehensive system that encourages and assists homeless veterans to overcome their distrust and feelings of isolation with the knowledge that this event promises to address multiple problems at one time and place. It provides a safe environment in which they can connect with people who have shared experiences and cultivate hope that they can rebuild their lives. We also need able-bodied volunteers to help us set up the Stand Down camp on the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday prior to Stand Down weekend as well as assistance in tearing down the camp on the Monday and Tuesday following Stand Down.