Local Airmen volunteer, aid local homeless veterans

By Airman 1st Class Amanda Lovelace, Peterson-Schriever Garrison Public Affairs / Published September 17, 2020

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE,Colo. — Airmen from Peterson and Schriever Air Force Bases volunteered in support of the 22nd Annual Stand Down for Colorado’s Homeless Veterans in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Sept. 15.

The stand down, organized by the El Paso County Homeless Veterans Coalition, aims to provide homeless veterans with winter clothing and a host of state and government services to remedy their needs.

“These are veterans… someone’s mother, father, child, grandparent,” said Lt. Col. Michael Schriever, 2nd Space Operations Squadron commander. “Someone who we can show our common bond through military service, connect with for an afternoon and try to bring some comfort to their lives.”

During the event, volunteers help homeless veterans identify earned service benefits that may transition them into a stable home and work environment.

“As active duty and civilian members of the Air Force and Space Force, we show care and pride in our community and those who served before us,” Schriever said.

More than 170 veterans per year were helped during this annual event.

“Each veteran was checked in by volunteers and vetted for eligibility,” Schriever said.

After veterans received their respective services, volunteers escorted them to collect winter clothing, personal items and boots in their respective sizes. Lastly, the veterans were provided with a box lunch from a local restaurant.

In previous years, the event also offered services such as hearing tests, dental exams, haircuts and vaccinations.

However, due to COVID-19, this year’s event had to be scaled down to less service booths.

“We receive feedback every year on how much it means to these veterans to share the day with fellow military in uniform who understand their service,” Schriever said. “[The veterans] swap stories and have someone listen to them and care about their needs in a manner that we do every day in our military family environment.”

The annual event has been supported by Airmen from Peterson and Schriever since 2008.

“Events like these remind us of those who came before us and to remember they’re still a part of our family,” said Airman 1st Class Erica Lynne, 50th Operations Support Squadron student.

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Schriever Airmen help homeless military veterans

By Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster, 50th Space Wing Public Affairs / Published October 15, 2019

Approximately 30 Schriever Airmen volunteered to help military veterans during the 21st annual Homeless Veteran Stand Down at the Colorado Springs City Auditorium, Colorado, Oct. 15.

Lt. Col. Michael Schriever, 2nd Space Operations Squadron director of operations and military assistance coordinator for El Paso County Homeless Veteran Coalition, said Schriever Air Force Base has supported the coalition since 2008.

According to EPCHVC, they execute their mission through three primary programs: transitional housing initiative, homeless veteran stand down and ongoing homelessness community prevention efforts.

“There are multiple things our coalition works toward, “Schriever said. “Throughout the year we offer outreach to homeless veterans or support for veterans who may be headed for homelessness. We receive a couple of grants, and we receive assistance requests from other organizations.”

During the event, veterans can get hot meals, haircuts and dental work according to Schriever.

“There was also an Army veterinarian available to take care pets, winter clothing were supplied and they can get registered up in the [Department of Veterans Affairs] database to provided further assistance,” he said.

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Stand Down for homeless veterans in Colorado Springs has huge turnout

The Colorado Springs Gazette – October 20, 2015

Roughly 235 military veterans – most of them homeless – converged at the Colorado Springs City Auditorium, grabbing backpacks and blankets to help better weather the coming winter.
But homeless advocates hope those supplies aren’t needed long.
A greater-than-expected turnout inundated Tuesday’s Stand Down – an event to help homeless veterans by offering access to mental health care, job assistance and other services.
Meanwhile, organizers of a parallel effort to end veteran homelessness by the end of the year tried to keep up. Those volunteers want to shelter each person within a day, create housing plans within a week and soon place the veterans in more permanent homes.
Last year, about 150 veterans sought services at the Stand Down. This year, organizers expected about 175 people – but counted 235.
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Stand down lifts up homeless veterans

The Colorado Springs Gazette – October 14, 2010

Dave Zickler’s heavy-duty high-top boots had definitely seen better days.
“These ones are getting funky,” he said, pointing to a split in the leather of one of his 2-year-old buff-colored boots.
Thanks to Thursday’s 12th annual Stand Down for Homeless Veterans at the City Auditorium, the 56-year-old Army vet will be stepping out in a new pair of boots — not to mention a new heavy coat — just in time for the arrival of wintery weather.
“This is good. This is real good,” he said.
Loading homeless veterans up with coats, boots, jeans, toiletries, flu shots and connections to essential services is what the Stand Down is all about, and organizers anticipated a record turnout as the economic downturn continues to take its toll on employment.
“The economy put me here,” said Mike “Jethro” Snyder, a former Marine who has made his living working on ranches. “I’ve been a cowboy all my life, but I’ve just run out of work.”
Snyder, 55, was taking advantage of the one Stand Down station that provides the most immediate change for the vets: a haircut. About 10 volunteer stylists from Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy clipped, buzzed and shaved a steady stream of veterans, taking them from scruffy to slick in a matter of minutes.
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