‘Stand Down’ to benefit homeless vets

Friday, September 7, 2012

NASHUA – The transition from a soldier in combat to a civilian in an urban American city is often a difficult one. Harbor Homes Inc., will sponsor a Stand Down for homeless veterans from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, at 45 High St., Nashua.

In 2011, there were more than 67,000 homeless veterans around the country. Harbor Homes, along with Veterans Affairs and a grant from the Department of Labor, are putting together the Stand Down to help military men and women transition back into the community.

A Stand Down is an event to give homeless veterans short- and long-term assistance and resources, including food, clothing, haircuts, employment counseling, and legal and medical advice.

A successful Stand Down requires months of preparation, hundreds of donations and the generosity of the entire community. Individuals can get involved by volunteering to help with the event, or donating boots, gloves, blankets, hygiene products, nonperishable food, or used cars to help veterans get to work.

Harbor Homes is looking for many different kinds of donations from companies, basically anything to help the veterans.

Professionals can volunteer services such as legal services, tax services, haircuts, dental care, or apprenticeships.

Harbor Homes encourages employers that are hiring to come and talk to the center’s qualified veterans about positions available in their companies. Large and small employers can talk about work opportunities or training programs.

Harbor Homes’ overall goals for the Stand Down are to:

• Provide veterans with relief from the dangers, trauma and isolation of homelessness.

• Supply them with basic necessities.

• Bring together service providers, volunteers and professionals to create short-term and long-term solutions, to poverty, homelessness and unemployment.

• Raise community awareness about homelessness through publicity, organizations and word-of-mouth.

“It is the largest gathering of resources and volunteers with one mission: to end veteran homelessness in New Hampshire,” Matthew Milbourn, a veteran and employee at Harbor Homes, said. “It provides a positive impact on the community as it raises awareness for a very serious issue and provides otherwise non-existent access to support services for local veterans and their families. Without these events there would be no outreach or community awareness to this problem.”

For more information or to reserve a table, contact Andrea Reed or Dave Richardson at 882-3616, ext. 1111. To volunteer, contact Erin Schaick at 882-3616, ext. 1148, or

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