Friday, September 17, 2010
Hundreds of veterans and homeless Wichitans tried to get a hand up instead of a hand out today in South Wichita. The 15th annual Homeless Veteran and Community Stand Down event helped people on the streets get counseling and resources they need for the winter.
Participants were treated to hot dogs and hamburgers, clothing giveaways, counseling, and free haircuts and massages.
"If we didn't have this, this would seriously put us on our toes because we would have to be looking for stuff that only these kinds of people could provide," said Patrick Duke, a homeless veteran.
The event hosted by the non-profit organization Veterans Emergency Transition Services provided homeless people a hot meal, some relaxation time, and assistance in breaking the cycle of homelessness. Last year, more than 600 individuals were provided help and services. Organizers planned supplies for 900 individuals this year.
"We don't expect to be able to help everybody but the one positive story you end up hearing from it just makes it that much easier the next year," said Dave Desmond, Chairman of the Veterans Emergency Transition Services.