Over 2,000 veterans and their families are expected to attend the Arizona Veterans StandDown Alliance’s annual StandDown event in Maricopa County in January, where they will have access to free services relating to housing, hygiene and medical care.
The two-day event will take place Thursday, Jan. 24 and Friday, Jan. 25 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. The Arizona Veterans StandDown Alliance (AVSA), operating under the 501(c)3 of the Arizona Housing Coalition, coordinates the event, which is the largest of its kind in the country. AVSA holds similar StandDown events and resource fairs throughout the year in 13 of Arizona’s 15 counties.
A wide variety of services will be available to those in attendance, including housing assistance, pet care, government-issued IDs through the Motor Vehicles Department, medical, vision and behavioral health services and assistance in receiving federal benefits.
In order to keep up with the needs of those in attendance, high-demand services such as dental care will be available at StandDown again this year, while offerings such as overnight services will not be available on-site.
Dental care, ranked by the Department of Veterans Affairs as one of the top three unmet needs of veterans experiencing homelessness, will be provided by the Central Arizona Dental Society Mission of Mercy. Twenty-five full-service dental chairs will be provided by the organization, along with a fully-trained, volunteer staff to administer dental services.
More than 80 service providers will be onsite to volunteer their services to veterans attendance, including officials from the Arizona Superior Court and multiple municipalities, the Social Security Administration office and the Department of Economic Services.The Central Arizona Dental Society Mission of Mercy is spearheading dental services, and will provide 25 full-service dental chairs.
In addition to providing immediate necessities to veterans, AVSA aims to use the StandDown events as a way to increase community awareness surrounding the number of veterans experiencing homelessness in Arizona. At any given time, there are nearly 1,000 veterans in need of shelter in the state.
The first Maricopa County StandDown event was held in 2001 and has since grown to be the largest event of its kind in the nation. The Arizona Veterans StandDown Alliance was created in 2014 in an attempt to unify the efforts of StandDown events and resource fairs held throughout the state. The AVSA now collaborates with government officials and community leaders in 13 of Arizona’s 15 counties, where they work to fill in service gaps, leverage financial resources, build statewide partnerships and maintain accurate data in order to create a collective impact on the homeless veteran population throughout Arizona.
More information on attending the event or working as a volunteer can be found here. Elected officials, dignitaries, and the media are invited to visit the StandDown event and receive a personal tour from the leadership team. To make arrangements, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 623-225-6728.