‘Stand Down’ event lends a hand to homeless veterans

SAN DIEGO -- Veterans Village of San Diego wrapped up its annual "Stand Down" event serving homeless veterans at San Diego High School Sunday.

The day's activities wrapped up a 3-day "intervention event" in which vets in need were provided a range of services including health screenings, substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, food and clothing.

“For our veterans who have lost everything and are living on the streets of San Diego, this year’s Stand Down ... will once again provide an opportunity for them to access services, connect with the community, restore hope, and allow them to 'Stand Down' for a weekend," VVSD President and CEO Kimberly Mitchell said.

"Stand down is a place of miracles," added Director Darcy Pavich.

The group estimates more than 800 homeless veterans were served at this year's event.

Since the Veterans Village of San Diego started Stand Down in 1988, it has spread around the country -- with around 200 similar events organized annually, according to the organization.