Today's Date: May 11, 2021
MAËLYS Receives Significant Investment from Norwest    •   Leading DTC Bridal Brand Azazie Launches Size Inclusive Shapewear   •   Statement - Minister of Veterans Affairs marks National Nursing Week   •   Survey Reveals 8 Out Of 10 Asian Americans Say They Are Discriminated Against And 77% Do Not Feel Respected In The U.S.   •   EquityPlus Completes "4% Floor" $16 Million Bond Sale To Finance Senior Citizen Affordable Housing And Community Wellness Center   •   Commvault Celebrates Inclusion of 16 Global Executives to CRN's 2021 Women of the Channel List   •   Cadence13 Partners with Globally Renowned Thought Leader, Bestselling Author, and Activist Glennon Doyle for First-Ever Podcast   •   Unilever's Second Annual Day of Service Gets Sweeter at Vaccine Locations Across the Country   •   Indigenous Services Canada announces 2021 recipients of the Awards of Excellence in Nursing   •   Joint statement on the 5th anniversary of Canada's full support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous P   •   Susan G. Komen® Welcomes Eight New Leaders in Healthcare, Marketing and Business Operations to Board of Directors   •   Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation Gets Support From MISSION BBQ American Heroes Cup Campaign   •   AEO Inc. to Report First Quarter 2021 Results on May 26th   •   Student-Led Startup Skin Releaf Takes USD 25,000 Top Prize in Standard Chartered 2021 Women in Tech Incubator Competition   •   BlackNorth Initiative Sponsoring Lori-Ann Green-Walker, Part of the 6th Cohort of the ESG Competent Boards Certificate Program   •   Accenture and Shiseido Establish Joint Venture to Accelerate Shiseido’s Digital Transformation   •   Miami Based Black Advertisement Agency Receives Multiple 27th Annual Communicator Awards From the Academy of Interactive and Vis   •   National Geographic Documentary Films Partners With Acclaimed Director Dawn Porter in Search of Justice and Peace 100 Years Afte   •   Wells Fargo Joins OneTen Coalition to Hire, Upskill and Advance Black and African American Talent in the U.S.   •   Paway Celebrates Dog Moms Throughout The Month Of May With Their "Best Dog Mom Challenge"
Bookmark and Share

Black Vets "Stand Down"

 

 New America Media, Video, Video by Jacob Simas, Text by Aaron Glantz

Pleasanton, CA - More than 400 homeless veterans from across Northern California relaxed in comfort at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.

The occasion: a “Stand Down,” where the homeless veterans were given access to good food, clean clothes, showers and beds. 

A group of veterans stayed in camouflage canvas tents, met with employment counselors and even made their case to superior court judges, who prescribed modest penalties in exchange for dropping charges related to failed appearances on old warrants. Such warrants often started as unpaid traffic tickets, but the charges escalated as they were ignored.

“The good thing about the East Bay Stand Down is they can get the services they need,” said Army Reserve Capt. Tonya Pacheco, who helped handle logistics for the event.

“If they need counseling – whatever they need it’s available to them,” she said. “A lot of veterans will have the opportunity to turn their lives around.”

100,000 Homeless Vets

Nationally, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates that on any given night more than 100,000 veterans are homeless, with double that number experiencing homelessness in the course of a year.

Conservatively, the National Council for Homeless Veterans estimates that one out of three homeless men sleeping in a doorway, alley or box in American cities and rural communities has put on a uniform and served the USA.

About half of homeless veterans served their country during the Vietnam years, and service providers say they are beginning to see disturbing numbers of veterans recently back from Iraq and Afghanistan living in their cars or couch surfing with family, friends or wherever they can crash.

According to the VA, 56 percent of homeless vets are African American, even though nearly 80 percent of U.S. military veterans are white.

As a blazing sun shone down on the fairgrounds, John Morgan sat under a large tent in the center of the Stand Down, a computer thumb drive around his neck.

“I just got a resume made, and they gave me a flash drive,” Morgan said. “I needed to get that done ‘cause I wanted to go back to work.”

A U.S. Army veteran, Morgan served as a medic in the burn unit at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio in the years following the Vietnam War. When he got out of the military in the early 1980s, the Vacaville native started snorting cocaine, then dealing it.

“I would work a job and save a lot of money. And then I would get a bundle of coke, and I would sell and I would use.… Inevitably, I would go into jail or get in some kind of thing with the police,” he said.

This year, Morgan caught a break. An official from the Department of Veterans Affairs visited him at San Luis Obispo State Prison and told him about the Homeless Veteran Rehabilitation Program (HVRP), a supportive housing facility on the VA campus in Menlo Park.

A month ago, when he was released from prison, Morgan went straight to the facility.

“HVRP saved my life,” he said. Now he’s trying to make sure he has a way to support himself once he graduates from their program.

Morgan is comparably lucky to get a space at HVRP. According to the VA, for the more than 12,000 homeless veterans in Northern California, there are only about 400 transitional housing beds.

That’s why the Stand Downs are so important –for one weekend this year, every veteran who showed up got the help they needed.

 



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News