October 14, 2014

Hundreds of Homeless Veterans find Help at the “Stand Down of North Jersey” in Newark Hosted by GI Go Fund and The City of Newark

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

A homeless veteran obtains legal assistance and support from Tonya Tucker of Newark Community Solutions at the annual Stand Down of North Jersey.

NEWARK, NJ - The GI Go Fund, in partnership with 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 11, 2014.

During the Stand Down, veterans received haircuts, photo ID cards, medical checkups and HIV testing, as well as counseling and information support groups about employment services, state and federal VA benefits, substance abuse programs, vocational rehabilitation, recovery programs, hospice care, and legal services, including City legal support to address outstanding criminal matters.

Veterans were also provided lunch cooked by New Jersey Army National Guard. Afterwards, they were given a full range of Army surplus and civilian winter clothing, including boots, underwear, ski caps, pants, and personal toiletries.

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 of providing veterans with the services and care that they deserve. Their smart approach of assisting homeless veterans has received national attention, as the organization’s work has been showcased on Fox News and the ABC reality show “Secret Millionaire”.

“We believe we have identified the best model for addressing the issue of homeless veterans in our country. We have had tremendous success in the city of Newark these past several years, and we are excited to continue to help the veterans living in the City,” said GI Go Fund Executive Director Jack Fanous, whose organization partnered with now Senator Cory Booker and the city of Newark in 2008 to address the needs of veterans in his city and develop a model that could be taken to other areas. “The only way to end homelessness among veterans is to bring the services to them, we can’t wait for them to come to us.”

This event has been held every year in the city of Newark for nearly a decade, showing the level of commitment that all partners have to solving the issue of veteran homelessness. Organizers have indicated that despite the years of work in hosting these events, they have no intention of slowing down.

"We'll keep doing these events as long as need be, so that the words 'homeless' and 'veterans' should never be in the same sentence," said David Cathcart, President of Stand Down of North Jersey Inc., which organized the event. "This is the most important thing we can do for our veterans, and we can never give up on this fight."