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Homeless Veteran Stand Down starts Friday

Anthony Irby with the Phoenix VA Homeless Veteran Outreach Program talks with Navy Veteran Don Rockwood about correcting his VA benefits during the 2015 Homeless Veteran Stand Down event at Frontier Village in Prescott.
Photo by Matt Hinshaw.

Anthony Irby with the Phoenix VA Homeless Veteran Outreach Program talks with Navy Veteran Don Rockwood about correcting his VA benefits during the 2015 Homeless Veteran Stand Down event at Frontier Village in Prescott.

PRESCOTT – The Homeless Veteran Stand Down in the Frontier Village on Highway 69 organized through the U.S. VETS Initiative is scheduled for Sept. 23 beginning at 9 a.m. and it continues through 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24.

Part of this year’s lineup of services for homeless veterans will be a Veterans Court to assist those with pending criminal matters before either the Superior Court or the city court by having their cases reviewed and adjudicated through this process. The court sessions will be held on Saturday in a vacant building next door to the main Stand Down event.

Presiding Superior Court Judge David L. Mackey will preside over any Superior Court matters and city magistrate and the presiding Yavapai County Justice of the Peace Arthur Markham will be in charge of the more minor criminal offenses. These judges may be assisted by other volunteer justices, as well as other court personnel, including state prosecutors and public defenders and members from the Yavapai County Adult Probation Department.

Any veteran wishing to participate in the Vet Court needs to make contact with the organizers as soon as possible so that the court personnel have all appropriate records to assist with those cases.

The Stand Down is a chance for homeless veterans to have what might be referred to as one-stop shopping for a variety of social services, with the key focus to be assisting with housing options, said U.S. VETS Initiative Operations Manager and the Stand Down organizer Skye Biasetti. Transportation to the event will be provided from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from such places as the Prescott United Methodist Church on West Gurley Street, Granite Creek Park, and the local VA off Highway 89.

The local VA personnel as well as other veteran-service organizations and a variety of non-profit organizations that work with the homeless will have booths where individuals can get immediate help. Biasetti said her agency and some others have some rapid rehousing funds that will enable them to assist veterans with rental assistance.

The Stand Down is intended to offer these men and women “everything a person would need, ideally, to break down barriers to getting housing, even housing people on the spot if we can.”

All attendees are treated to a full lunch on both days; showers and bathrooms as well as such practical things as haircuts, chiropractic services, winter care packages that include backpacks, coats and boots, as well as pet care. All of the participating agency leaders and volunteers will be there to steer people toward services they might not know exist, or just engage people in conversation so they know that there are people eager to help them on their journey.

For more information about how to participate in this event, contact Stand Down organizer and U.S. VETS Initiative Operations Manager Skye Biasetti at 928-583-7679 or Fax application materials to the office at 928-778-0690.

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