This year’s Santa Barbara County Veterans Stand Down event was held Saturday in Santa Maria, providing a safe place for veterans to get the help they need – healthcare screenings, employment assistance, on-the-spot assessments, crisis counseling and more.
The free annual event, geared toward homeless and at-risk veterans, was held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Santa Maria Fairpark.
The event was limited to the first 500 veterans, legal spouses and dependent children younger than 18. Organizers did not have updated figures Sunday as to how many veterans showed up looking for assistance.
In addition to providing much needed clothing, including sweatshirts, sweatpants and long-sleeved shirts, veterans also took advantage of volunteer barbers and stylists for the event.
Veterans were able to bring small pets to Stand Down for vaccinations and grooming. The Stand Down Pet Zone also asked for donations for the pets, including 4-foot and 6-foot leashes, small dog and cat collars, small bags of dog and cat food, oatmeal pet shampoo and dog and cat beds.
Stand Down organizers created an easy link for donors to select much-needed items at Walmart.com and have them delivered directly to Stand Down
Transportation was provided to veterans courtesy of the Chumash Casino.
For more information, visit The Santa Barbara County Veterans Stand Down website: www.sbcountystanddown.com.