Wyden, Merkley: Federal Grants to Support “Stand Down” Events that Provide Services to Homeless Veterans

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that organizations in Coos, Curry, Klamath, Lake and Washington counties earned more than $17,000 in grants from the Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS) to host events that provide supplies and services homeless veterans. 

“Oregonians who put their lives on the line abroad to protect the communities we hold most dear should get the support they’ve earned for a smooth transition to civilian life back at home,” Wyden said. “These Stand Down events can be a lifeline for veterans struggling to make ends meet, with their mental health and other needs. I will never stop fighting to ensure that veterans receive the health care and benefits they’ve earned in service to this nation.”

“Oregon service members sacrifice so much to protect our freedom every day, so it is our duty to show up for them when they need help,” Merkley said. “As many veterans struggle with transitioning back home and are often left without the benefits they earned from their brave service, these Stand Down events provide access to various programs that can assist them with issues such as mental health or housing, and give them the care that every veteran deserves. I will continue to fight for our men and women in uniform and ensure that they are taken care of when they return home.”

DOL VETS Stand Downs are typically one- to three-day events providing supplies and services to homeless veteranssuch as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings and VA Social Security benefits counseling. Veterans can also receive referrals to other assistance such as health care, housing solutions, employment, substance use treatment and mental health counseling. They are collaborative events, coordinated between local VA Medical Centers, DOL and other government agencies and community-based homeless service providers. The funding will be distributed as follows:

·        Southwest Oregon Veterans Outreach, Inc.: $7,000 for Stand Down event on Sept. 17, 2021

·        Klamath and Lake Counties: $7,000 for Stand Down event on Sept. 17, 2021

·        Washington County: $3,225 for Stand Down event on Oct. 15, 2021

“Thank you Senators Wyden and Merkley for your continued leadership and commitment to serving those who have served our country,” said Rebecca Miller, Program Supervisor for Disability, Aging and Veteran Services at Washington County. “With the grant funds we just received we will hold a Veteran Stand Down on October 15, which will help veterans access critical housing, employment and health resources. Your advocacy for veterans supports critical events like our Stand Down as well as the work of our county veteran services program throughout the year.”

“We are very grateful to the Department of Labor for this grant that will help us reach out to and help more veterans,” said Tom Venz, Secretary/Treasurer of SW Oregon Veterans Outreach Inc.