On 24 Sept 2011, Way Station Inc with support from the State, Baltimore City, Howard County, Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County held the first ever Baltimore region Stand Down. Operation Stand Down is designed as an intervention to bring a wide range of essential services to homeless veterans. This one-day Stand Down concentrated on providing certain essential services to homeless veterans in the Baltimore City region.
Services that were available to the participants included: health/medical, showers, food, addiction counseling, employment opportunities and training programs, and housing to name a few. Volunteers ushered the participants through an array of service providers ensuring that the men and women who served are nation were heard and that whatever help possible was provided.
After presentation of the colors by the Joint Base Andrews Color Guard, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, a reservist in the United States Army, opened up the event encouraging the participating veterans to take advantage of this opportunity and that Marylanders are here to give them a guiding hand.
The event was a huge success as over 20o veterans, 100 volunteers, and 20 service providers participated. The Maryland Defense Force’s 10th Medical Regiment, along with augmentees from the Maryland National Guard and the Greyhound ROTC Battalion, provided basic medical and dental services for the veterans. The South Baltimore Station stepped in making available shower facilities and a place for veterans to receive haircuts plus the availability of 50 beds in their Code Blue shelter. Aid our Veterans provided lunch for each participant and volunteer.
With a better understanding of the veteran needs in the area, plans have begun to take shape for next year’s Operation Stand Down.