Today's First Stand Down event reaches out to homeless, jobless vets


It seemed like a party: a giant tent in the street and music blasting. But it was more than that. The Mahoning and Trumbull County Regional Veteran Stand Down, sponsored by the United Methodist Community Center, provided information and more to veterans.

“It’s an employment and service fair for homeless veterans, giving them the opportunity to know what is available to them in the community,” said Juanita Pasley, executive director of the center.

The event on Front Street and inside Trinity United Methodist Church today provided veterans with haircuts, a hot meal, health screenings and information.

A variety of vendors, including the YWCA of Youngstown, Youngstown State University Office of Veterans Affairs, Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority and the Help Hotline Crisis Center, participated.

A grant from the U.S. Dept. of Labor funded the first-time event.

Often servicemen are seen reuniting with happy families once they return home, Pasley said.

“But the people we work with are families that are dismantled,” she said.

Often, the veterans drop out of sight, she added.

“The jobs are not to be found. They don’t have jobs. They don’t have housing and so they kind of drop out of the community,” she said. “So this is to get them back into the world of work and the world of readiness.”

For the complete story, read Sunday's Vindicator or

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