VA employees help homeless Veterans at Corpus Christi Stand Down


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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Corpus Christi Stand Down, took place on November 2, 2018, in downtown Corpus Christi, and for the third year in a row members of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and several community organizations were once again there to lend a hand to Veterans in need of a helping hand.

“Events like the Stand Down serve as a testament of the caring spirit of the Corpus Christi community,” said Carrie Myers, Homeless Veterans Program manager for VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System (VCB). “All these different organizations and people would not be here today if that wasn’t so. We all play a role in helping our Homeless Veterans get a hand up, not a hand out.”

Myers was one of more than a dozen representatives from the VA to take part in the outreach event designed to help homeless Veterans.

VA suicide prevention coordinator, Nicole Theriot, smiles for a photo during the Corpus Christi Stand Down, which took place November 2, 2018, in downtown Corpus Christi, Texas.

VA suicide prevention coordinator, Nicole Theriot, smiles for a photo during the Corpus Christi Stand Down, which took place November 2, 2018, in downtown Corpus Christi, Texas. The licensed clinical social worker was one of several VA staff members that took part in the event designed to provide assistance to homeless Veterans. (Photo by Carrie Myers)

Approximately 200 people attended the three-hour long event. Twenty-seven out of the approximately 70 Veterans who registered were categorized as homeless Veterans.

According to Myers, the Stand Down provided a great opportunity for the 27 homeless Veterans to be screened by the VA Homeless Veterans Program team.

In addition to warm a plate of food, these Veterans were then connected with resources to assist them with obtaining housing, medical care, haircuts, employment, VA benefits, substance abuse services, mental health services, temporary shelter placements, and Veteran peer assistance.

The VA offers a wide array of special programs and initiatives specifically designed to help homeless Veterans live as self-sufficiently and independently as possible.

In fact, the VA is the only U.S. federal agency that provides substantial hands-on assistance directly to homeless persons.

Although limited to Veterans and their dependents, VA’s major homeless-specific programs constitute the largest integrated network of homeless treatment and assistance services in the country.

For all information about programs and services for homeless Veterans, please go to http://www.va.gov/homeless/ and utilize the links to specific information.

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Author

Luis Loza Gutierrez

Luis H. Loza Gutierrez joined the Department of Veterans Affairs in October of 2017 and serves as a public affairs specialist for VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System.

In addition to winning multiple awards as a writer, photographer, illustrator and graphic artist during his more than 10 years in the U.S. Air Force as a public affairs specialist and photojournalist, L.G. (as he was called by his fellow Airmen) also served as a member for the Air Force Honor Guard at the base-level during his last permanent-duty station in North Dakota.

He volunteered to deploy out of cycle twice in a period of less 18 months, the second of which included a six-month tour as a member of the public affairs team at USF-I Headquarters at Camp Victory in Baghdad.

The now retired non-commissioned officer returned home to the Rio Grande Valley in deep South Texas in November of 2015, and feels enthusiastic and honored to continue to serve his fellow brothers- and sisters-in-arms as a member of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

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