A clothing and services drive for homeless and at-risk veterans is coming to Santa Maria in October.
The eighth annual Santa Barbara County Veterans Stand Down will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Santa Maria Fairpark, according to a news release.
Hot food, showers, clothes, personal hygiene items and medical examinations will be provided free of charge.
Veterans will also be connected to more than 100 providers offering social services, legal aid, resume-building, job opportunities and more.
Community members can donate new items for the Stand Down.
Drop off dates and locations in Santa Maria are:
Sept. 28, Sept. 29, Oct. 12 and Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bradley Avenue Walmart.
Sept. 25, Oct. 2, Oct. 9, Oct. 16 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Santa Maria Fairground.
Drop off dates and locations in Lompoc are: Sept. 28, Sept. 29, Oct. 12 and Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Central Avenue Walmart.
The Lompoc Family YMCA will accept donations from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays through Oct. 15 .
Those who would like to purchase items through Walmart and have them delivered directly to the Stand Down can visit www.sbcountystanddown.com.
No donations will be accepted on the day of Stand Down.
The most sought-after donations are new bath towels, new blankets, new undergarments for men and women, new hooded sweatshirts and personal and feminine hygiene items.
Santa Barbara County Fifth District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino runs the program out of his office.
“Eight years ago, he was watching ‘60 Minutes’ and they did a story on the original Stand Down in San Diego. He thought ‘I’d like to do that for Santa Barbara County’ and that’s how the idea got started,’ “ said Stand Down Coordinator Sandy Agalos.
Last year the event served 530 veterans, including 58 women 171 homeless, and 15 homeless women.
Pre-registration is available for veterans who would like to sign up to receive services at the event.
Free transportation will be provided for veterans, with bus pick-ups in Santa Barbara, Isla Vista, Solvang, Buellton and Lompoc.
Schedules and more information ar available on the Stand Down website.