Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the name of NCVSD President Matt Foster. We apologize for the error.
SAN DIEGO — A group hopes to help hundreds of veterans during a four-day event in North County this weekend.
The 5th Annual North County Veterans Stand Down is being held Sept. 16-19 at Green Oak Ranch after an event planned in April was delayed because of coronavirus concerns.
Each year, NCVSD volunteers hit the streets in search of veterans in need. They are invited to receive services for themselves, their families and their pets and the event, from food, lodging and clothing to a variety of services to help them physically and mentally.
Matt Foster, president of North County Veterans Stand Down, said some of the main services include medical, dental and vision care in addition to legal and employment services, all at no cost to participants.
“Come get the help. We’re here to help you and there is plenty of help for everybody. You don’t have to sit there and go, ‘Well I’ll just let the other guy do it. I don’t want to take his spot.’ No. We want you to take your spot here at our Stand Down,” Foster said.
NCVSD was started to assist veterans dealing with homelessness but the annual Stand Down event is for all veterans regardless of housing, employment, and financial status. Staff will be driving around North County over the next few days, picking up veterans and bringing them to the event.
“What we bring here is hope. People actually care about our veterans here,” Foster said. “We get these guys that come in and get the services and they realize there is a chance for them. And that’s what they need, they just need that little nudge to get there and go, ‘OK I can do this.’ And that’s what we provide for them.”
Foster said after helping veterans find jobs and housing, he’s seen them return to Stand Down to volunteer.
Green Oak Ranch is located at 1237 Green Oak Rd in Vista. Find more information, on the website or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.