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VENTURA : Event Provides Relief to Homeless Veterans

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Organizers have begun registering homeless veterans interested in taking part in Stand Down 1994, the three-day relief effort at Ventura College that offers legal, medical and other services to former members of the armed forces who are in need.

Information about pre-registration for the event, which attracted about 90 homeless veterans in its first year last summer, can be obtained at dozens of social service and nonprofit agencies throughout Ventura County.

“We’re trying to serve a specific population of the homeless community,” said Sharon Dwyer, co-chair of Stand Down 1994. The military term “stand down” refers to troops being placed from combat readiness to recreation status.

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The event will bring together representatives from dozens of local, state and federal agencies focused on helping veterans who may have fallen through the social-service cracks since they served in the military.

The three-day camp will provide for basic needs such as showers, tents and three meals a day at the Stand Down, which will be held July 29 through 31 on the college football field.

But there also will be a variety of other services available, including information about veterans’ benefits, job-search training, counseling and more.

Organizers have made some changes to attract more than the 90 or so veterans who showed up at Ventura College a year ago.

For instance, Dwyer said, the event will be held at the end of the month, weeks after government checks are distributed in the first part of the month. Organizers also have advertised the event in posters and flyers earlier than they did last year. For more information or to register, call 654-6459.

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