VETERANS FIND REFUGE : ORGANIZATION REACHES OUT TO HOMELESS WITH ANNUAL STAND DOWN.Byline: Michael Coit Daily News Staff Writer
Homeless veterans gained respite RESPITE, contracts, civil law. An act by which a debtor who is unable to satisfy his debts at the moment, transacts (i. e. compromises) with his creditors, and obtains from them time or delay for the payment of the sums which he owes to them. Louis. Code, 3051. this weekend from their daily battle for survival, sleeping in comfortable tents at Ventura College Ventura College is a California-state funded community college located in Ventura, California. Established in 1925, the college has a 112-acre campus with an enrollment of 13,000 students. The college is part of the Ventura County Community College District. and taking advantage of services that could lead to jobs and housing.
Nearly 200 men and women who served in the armed forces and now live in cars, encampments or on streets turned out for Stand Down 1996. The event's title refers to the military term for moving from combat to a safe and secure situation.
Don Conklin said he felt at home with fellow veterans. His hope of getting off the streets of Santa Barbara Santa Barbara (săn'tə bär`brə, –bərə), city (1990 pop. 85,571), seat of Santa Barbara co., S Calif., on the Pacific Ocean; inc. 1850. was renewed during the weekend.
``Once you've been in the service, you can relate with each other,'' Conklin said Sunday as he packed belongings and moved out of one of the large canvas tents set up on one side of a football field.
An 11-year veteran of the Air Force, Conklin has been homeless the past four years. The event gave him access to medical care for a sore leg and painful back, and Conklin also made contact with a social service group that helps veterans with temporary housing and job searches.
``I'm feeling pretty good today,'' he said.
A clearly upbeat mood infected in·fect
tr.v. in·fect·ed, in·fect·ing, in·fects
1. To contaminate with a pathogenic microorganism or agent.
2. To communicate a pathogen or disease to.
3. To invade and produce infection in. the camp, as veterans and some 400 volunteers worked together to solve problems and plan for better futures.
The event began Friday with showers, shaves and haircuts. Pets also were given the good treatment when county Animal Regulation officers took them to the Camarillo shelter for exams and vaccinations.
So many veterans turned out that organizers needed two additional tents - there were 10 in all - and 40 more cots for both Friday and Saturday nights.
More than a dozen social service agencies and organizations set up inside three large tents to meet with the veterans throughout the weekend.
Services ranged from meeting immediate needs, such as clothing from the Salvation Army Salvation Army, Protestant denomination and international nonsectarian Christian organization for evangelical and philanthropic work. Organization and Beliefs
The Salvation Army has established branches in 100 countries throughout the world. and photo identification cards provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles In the United States of America, Department of Motor Vehicles (or DMV) is a commonly used name of the government agency of a U.S. state which administers the registration of automobiles (e.g., by issuing license plates), and/or the licensing of drivers (e.g. , to long-term needs, such as counseling from the Ventura County Mental Health Department. Homeless services groups from across the county also reviewed cases and provided referrals for housing and meal programs and counseling.
A Ventura Municipal Court judge linked by computer to court records was available Friday to deal with outstanding citations, warrants and other legal issues.
``One person got a warrant cleared up dating back to 1988, and she was so relieved she was in tears,'' said Dianne Hooley, executive director of The Samaritan Center in Simi Valley Simi Valley (sē`mē, sĭm`ē), city (1990 pop. 100,217), Ventura co., SW Calif. in an oil, fruit, and farm region; laid out 1887, inc. 1969. .
Hooley said the weekend event helps her organization and others make contact with and help homeless men, women and families.
``People who don't come to the (Samaritan) Center a lot, who stay by themselves, were willing to come to see what would be offered,'' she noted. ``The key is to get people here, get services and follow up.''
Similar weekend Stand Downs are held across the state to help homeless veterans. The first was held in San Diego San Diego (săn dēā`gō), city (1990 pop. 1,110,549), seat of San Diego co., S Calif., on San Diego Bay; inc. 1850. San Diego includes the unincorporated communities of La Jolla and Spring Valley. Coronado is across the bay. eight years ago.
This was the fourth annual Ventura event. Organizers aimed for homeless veterans in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo (săn l`ĭs ōbĭs`pō), city (1990 pop. 41,958), seat of San Luis Obispo co., S Calif., near San Luis Obispo Bay; inc. 1856. and Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. counties, as well as Ventura County.
``This is an opportunity to give homeless veterans assistance to help them break the cycle of homelessness,'' said Claire Hope, the event's chairwoman. ``Stand Down is all about Americans helping Americans. It's a way to give them a real chance for a new beginning.''
Bill Haase came from San Pedro to volunteer for a second year in a row. A three-year Army veteran, Haase said he understands the needs of homeless veterans.
``Being a veteran, it's nice to give back to these guys somehow. It feels really good.''
Photo: (1--Color) Veterans who came to the temporary cam p at Ventura College get in some line dancing line dancing
a form of dancing performed by rows of people to country and western music during their weekend stay, called Stand Down 1996.
(2) Men and women who took shelter and assistance on the practice football field over the weekend event prepare to break camp Sunday.
Gene Blevins/Daily News