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Stand down event to provide services for homeless vets

Homeless and at-risk veterans will have an opportunity to connect with essential services in Rochester at Tuesday’s annual Veterans Stand Down. The County of Monroe and Veterans Outreach Center will work with the federal Department of Veterans Affairs and other local service providers to present the one-day event.

“Here in Monroe County we believe it is our distinct honor and solemn responsibility to give back to the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our great nation,” Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said in a statement. “It is especially important that we are able to connect with veterans who may feel like they’ve fallen through the cracks so we can offer them the support services they’ve earned and deserve.”

Veterans Stand Down will connect homeless or at-risk veterans with services in areas such as housing, health care, legal assistance, food sources and more. Nearly 40 local service providers will be at the Harro East Ballroom Feb. 26 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. to address the needs of veterans.

“Stand down was terminology originally used during the Vietnam War era, which meant to provide a safe retreat for units returning from combat operations,” VOC Director Laura Stradley said. “We utilize that phrase today not only symbolically to honor our roots, but because we’re still providing a safe place for homeless veterans to find assistance, services and perhaps some respite from the daily challenges they confront.”

The event is the 18th annual stand down for homeless veterans in Rochester. More than 200 local veterans were served at last year’s event.

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