SARASOTA, Fla. (May 03, 2019) – JFCS and more than 50 other local business and partner agencies came together at the 8th Annual JFCS Stand Down Event, where 140 veterans, including 54 homeless veterans, were given a day of reprieve and hope. Held at the Sarasota Fairgrounds Potter Building, the turnout represented a more than 40 percent increase over 2018. 

Veterans were provided with a backpack filled with daily essential items, including hygiene, clothing, blankets and non-perishable food.  They were also able to get fitted for footwear, meet with legal, housing and counseling professionals, receive health screenings, access VA benefits and registration, enter a bike raffle, take a shower and wash clothes.

In addition, pending court cases were reviewed by Veterans Court Judge Owens who erased tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

“Stand Down is a grassroots community-based intervention program designed to help homeless veterans on any given day “combat” life on the streets,” said JFCS President/CEO Heidi Brown.  “It was a tremendous show of support from more than 100 JFCS volunteers, 50+ partners and Judge Owens to provide veterans with some new-found solutions and opportunities to help them address their challenges.”

JFCS Stand Down Event

Photos (L to R): Alba Silva (L), JFCS veteran services employment training coordinator, welcomes local veterans to the 8th Annual JFCS Stand Down event.  JFCS President/CEO Heidi Brown (center) engages with a veteran as he gets ready to get fitted for a new pair of boots.  (Photos courtesy of Josh Botzenhart)

About JFCS: 

Founded in 1986, JFCS of the Suncoast is a community-based, client-centric non-profit organization that gives help to the most vulnerable. Fully accredited, JFCS works to provide holistic solutions and stability to people in crisis through mental health and social services. JFCS serves more than 5,700 individuals each year in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto and Lee Counties through counseling, prevention, intervention, outreach, case management, basic life necessities, financial aid and life skills education programs on a secular, non-denominational basis. For more information, visit www.jfcs-cares.org or call 941.366.2224.

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