october 13, 2012

Hundreds of Homeless Veterans find Help at the “Stand Down of North Jersey” in Newark Hosted by GI Go Fund and Mayor Cory A. Booker

Homeless Veterans offered food, clothes, medical screenings, haircuts, legal assistance, and connections to benefits and housing opportunities

Newark Mayor Cory Booker listens to a homeless veteran’s story at the “Stand Down of North Jersey” on Saturday, October 13, 2012 in Newark, NJ.

NEWARK - The GI Go Fund, in partnership with Mayor Cory A. Booker and the City of Newark, as well as the Stand Down of North Jersey Inc., hosted the “Stand Down of North Jersey” for Homeless Veterans at the John F. Kennedy Aquatic and Recreation Center, on Saturday, October 13, 2012, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

The event brought hundreds of homeless vets living in the area closer to the services they need to help get them off the streets. Mayor Cory Booker was in attendance to meet with homeless veterans and listen to their stories about coming home from combat and the struggles they have endured since.

Working with partners at the federal, state, and county level, the City of Newark turned the John F. Kennedy Aquatic and Recreation Center into a one-day, one-stop center for homeless veterans from across North Jersey. The veterans received haircuts, medical checkups and HIV testing, and then counseling and information from private and public agencies about employment services, state and federal VA benefits, substance abuse programs, vocational rehabilitation, recovery programs, hospice care, legal services, including City legal support to address outstanding criminal matters, and even photo identification cards. Services were then followed with a lunch cooked by New Jersey Army National Guardsmen and women, and the issuance of a full range of Army surplus winter clothing, including boots, underwear, ski caps, pants, and personal toiletries. All services are provided for free to veterans and their family members.

The GI Go Fund is a non-profit organization founded in 2006 that has been recognized for its unique and innovative solutions to addressing the homeless veteran population. The group has been successful in helping veterans living in Newark with all of their needs, turning Newark into the model city of providing veterans with the services and care that they deserve. Their successful model of assisting homeless veterans has received national attention, as the organization’s work was recently showcased on the season premiere of the ABC reality show “Secret Millionaire”.