New Cafe Standdown
Homeless Veterans and their families receive a variety of free services through a program called STAND DOWN. The 12th annual program was held this year on October 26th - 28th at the Anderson Fairgrounds. Various medical services included flu shots, podiatry, and dental. If emergency help was needed, Vets were taken to the Redding VA Clinic. A clothing store was set up with many clothing options including jackets. Vets were given hair cuts, beard trims, and there were several organizations to help get Vets back onto their feet and hopefully off the streets. There was help from the DMV, and employment and counseling services along with drug and alcohol counseling. Some Vets prefer to be homeless, but still need the variety of free care options offered. Vets and their families were provided cots and slept at the fairgrounds during their three day stay at STAND DOWN. And a pet area was set up for all Vet homeless pets.

The Vietnam Veterans of Shasta County took care of breakfast, and two other organizations prepped and served lunch and dinner. STAND DOWN offers 3 square meals a day with only breakfast on Saturday. Sack lunches were provided for the Vets to take with them on Saturday after breakfast. We had to be in the kitchen at 5 am to prep. We used theFusaro Hall kitchen. Fusaro Hall also housed the medical unit and clothing store. A coffee station was set up outside under a red canopy. Meals were served under a green canopy of ornamental lights next to the seating area. it was an honor to serve our homeless Vets and families. And it was an honor to work with all volunteers. There was no ego or self interest involved. All volunteers came together in one spirit, with one common goal which was caring for our nation's bravest. It was hard to see so many homeless Vets and look into the faces of their kids. And although I realize the need for Vets to have dogs, it pains me knowing some dogs probably aren't getting the proper care they need. It didn't matter if it was a Vet, a child, or a dog - there was a look of despair and sadness in them all. It was a hand-up, not a hand-out.

Breakfast included scrambled eggs made with mild cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese. Some scrambled had sausage in them. There were hash browns, sausage links, and biscuits with gravy. Oatmeal was made with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Bagels and donuts were served

. KCNR 1480 AM was there to cover STAND DOWN which is a great program. There were a lot of people helping Vets in numerous areas of the STAND DOWN event. We need to take care of our Vets. ?The words ?Homeless? and ?Vets? are two words that should never go together.?

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