About Stand Down


What is a Stand Down?
In times of war, exhausted combat units requiring time to rest and recover were removed from the battlefields to a place of relative security and safety. Today, Stand Down refers to a community-based intervention program designed to help the nation's estimated 200,000 homeless veterans "combat" life on the streets.

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 or send us a check made payable to Veterans Village of San Diego, 4141 Pacific Highway San Diego, CA 92110.

VVSD organized the nation's first Stand Down in 1988. Since then, the program has been widely replicated nationwide. Today, more than 200 Stand Downs take place across the country every year. "The program has become recognized as the most valuable outreach tool to help homeless veterans in the nation today," according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

Stand Down's philosophy is a hand up, not a hand out. The hand up is made possible each year by the dedication of thousands of volunteers and numerous sponsors.

The New York times covered the 2009 Stand Down in San Diego generating community awareness about the plight of homeless Veterans in our Nation and solutions provided by Veterans Village of San Diego.

What happens at a Stand Down?

Stand Down will be held in mid-July when hundreds of homeless veterans will be provided a wide range of necessities including:
  • They will be greeted with respect and open arms
  • They will be offered breakfast and coffee and fresh fruit
  • Picture IDs will be made for those who need them
  • The VA and EDD will assist with registration
  • Tents will be assigned with tent leaders who are there to assist them in accessing services
Their immediate physical needs will be addressed.
  • A visit to the clothing tent
  • Showers
  • Barbers
  • Medical
  • Dental
There are the many other services:
  • Homeless court
  • Counseling
  • Veterans benefits
  • Employment and job counseling services
  • Acupuncture and massage therapy
  • Recovery providers
  • Shelters
  • Chaplains services
  • 12-step meetings for everyone
And last but not least meals prepared by VFW, American Legion, VVSD, Kiwanis, and supported by the Lions Clubs, Rotary and local food distributors.

Perhaps most important of all is the feeling of safety. For the first time in possibly days, weeks or even months our homeless brothers and sisters can leave their possessions in the care of others and rest.

Stand Down is a place of miracles. Lives are changed and lives are saved. The founders of Stand Down had a dream. They made it a reality, one which continues to offer a true stand down for all homeless veterans.

Who organizes and delivers these services?
Thousands of caring volunteers and professionals give their time and expertise to address the unique needs homeless veterans.

Committees formed specifically to put on the event stage most Stand Downs: What can the public do to help?
  • Your contribution to VVSD would be greatly appreciated by the local Stand Down committee.
  • You can sponsor a tent downloading this sponsorship form(pdf) and completing/mailing to VVSD. The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans maintains an active list of scheduled Stand Downs across the nation.
  • If there is not a Stand Down scheduled in a community near you, you could help organize a planning committee to assist the homeless veterans in your area.
  • Please contact us for information concerning homeless veteran providers and advocates in your area.
Download the Stand Down - A Step by Step Procedural Manual (pdf), written by Stand Down Founders Dr. Jon Nachison and Robert Van Keuren, along with Richard Talbott.

Also Download the Stand Down Program Guide (pdf) to complete the design logistics.

We would also enjoy hearing from you. Feel free to email us at .