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DHS News Newsletter August 2008  

STAND DOWN rises up to meet a critical need

August 2008

STAND DOWN 2008, the day dedicated to assisting U.S. veterans who are homeless, ended with a sigh of a job well-done. 

More than 20 public, private and non-profit community organizations convened at Shepherds Heart Church in Uptown Pittsburgh to provide services and information to men and women of the armed forces. 

The event, co-sponsored by DHS, Veteran’s Leadership Program, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Operation Safety Net, CareerLink, VA Healthcare for the Homeless, and Shepherds Heart Church registered 227 individuals. Of those individuals:

  • 134 declared veteran status
  • 42 saw combat action
  • 121 are from Pennsylvania
  • 84 reported homelessness
  • 45 reported no income

Albert H. Mercer, Executive Director Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania, put the day’s accomplishments into perspective. “We assisted at least 227 individuals in an 8-1/2 hour period, compared to 338 individuals at VLP’s last stand down in 1995…over a three-day period,” said Mercer. “Yes, it was an amazing day.”

The DHS Office of Community Relations (OCR), which organized a collection of personal hygiene items for the homeless attending the event, extends a special thanks to all those who donated.

For information about on-going support for veterans, contact Veterans Leadership Program at 412-481-8200. 

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