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Harnett County Veterans and Community Stand Down set for Nov. 7

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10.15.2014College & CommunityCollege General

DUNN - The Harnett County Veterans and Community Stand Down will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 7 at the Dunn Community Center, 205 Jackson Road, Dunn.

Stand downs are community based intervention programs designed to help veterans with resources to deal with the challenges of life after returning from active duty, as well as provide homeless veterans access to resources to allow them to enter into self-sufficiency. The term "stand down" originates from the military and it refers to the period of transitioning to regular life after an extended state of readiness.

There is a special emphasis at stand downs for providing resources and connections for veterans. Stand down attendees receive food, clothing, medical and mental health assistance, as well as job counseling. Veterans also receive an opportunity to meet and bond with other veterans.

The initial planning for the Harnett County Veterans and Community Stand Down began in February. The genesis of the event originated from the Triangle South Workforce Development Board, which identified a need for a local area stand down.

Tiffany Swenson, WIA Adult Services Coordinator for Triangle South Workforce Development, and Robert Shelly, Veterans Employment Consultant for the N.C. Department of Commerce, Division of Workforce Solutions, were selected as co-chairs for the event. It is envisioned that this becomes an annual event to continue to meet the needs of homeless and veterans in distress.

Several community organizations will take part in the stand down. Committee members include representatives from Central Carolina Community College, Campbell University, Lillington Chamber of Commerce, Volunteers of America, and St. Joseph of the Pines.

Services that will be provided include food and refreshments, dental services, housing assistance, haircuts, and personal hygiene items, including clothing. There will be support to access personal empowerment services, including training assistance, education, and employment readiness. There also will be support to facilitate accessing safety net services, including VA benefits, legal support, Social Security and other services.

To learn more, or to provide free services at the event or to make a donation, people can contact Robert Shelly, Veterans Employment Consultant, 910-592-5756, or by email,