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VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS | WEST COUNTY / VENTURA

Needy Veterans Are Invited to 'Stand Down'

July 23, 1998|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

Massive tents were hoisted and refrigerated food was trucked to Ventura College's athletic field Wednesday in preparation for a three-day relief effort to help homeless veterans.

Homeless veterans from Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles counties are invited to Stand Down, an annual event scheduled Friday through Sunday.

For its sixth year, Stand Down--a military term for moving from combat to a secured site--has preregistered 100 people, said chairwoman Claire Hope. In 1997, 200 veterans attended.

Veterans can preregister at social services agencies, Employment Development Department offices and American Legion posts. Preregistration isn't required but helps event workers confirm military service more quickly.

On Wednesday, retired Air Force sergeants and others put up more than a dozen tents where veterans will sleep, shower and get haircuts, Hope said.

Free meals will be served, and an area for medical attention will be set up. Some clothing will be available. The public is asked to donate bulk food, cash and clothing.

One tent will also have a judge on hand Friday to help veterans who have outstanding misdemeanor warrants. Veterans will be able to receive on-scene hearings and community service sentencing, as well as help with other minor legal problems.

Representatives from the Social Security and Veterans administrations and other public and private agencies will also be available.

Setup for the event will continue today with members of the Air Force and Air National Guard bringing in a mobile kitchen, tables, chairs, cots and phones.

For event and donation details, call 648-8967.

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