The Annual Stand-Down is just one of the many efforts to provide services to homeless veterans. Stand-Downs are typically one to three day events providing services to homeless veterans such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, VA and Social Security benefits counseling, and referrals to a variety of other necessary services, such as housing, employment and substance abuse treatment. Stand-Downs are collaborative events, coordinated between local VAs, other government agencies, and community agencies who serve the homeless.
Stand-Downs in the military are traditionally associated with a break in combat when troops are brought in to a safe haven for a period of rest, relaxation, hot meals and a chance to be free from the rigors of war. This also applies to homeless veterans in the area who need to be free from the rigors of the street. The first Stand-Down was organized in 1988 by a group of Vietnam veterans in San Diego. Since then, Stand-Downs have been used as an effective tool in reaching out to homeless veterans.
The Capital Region Stand-Down is held each autumn.