October 12, 2019

GI Go Fund, nonprofit that hosted Navy SEAL Hudson River Swim to End Veteran Homelessness, host Stand Down for Hundreds of Homeless Military Veterans in Newark, NJ

Veterans provided food, clothes, medical assistance, legal aid, and more; Event was part of GI Go’s commitment to ending veteran homelessness, which also includes their recent Navy SEAL Hudson River Swim that raised over $200,000 to end veteran homelessness; Event partners include the city of Newark, along with the VA, the NJ National Guard, and NJDMAVA

(Newark, NJ) -- GI Go Fund, an organization that has helped thousands of military veterans with their needs for over a decade, hosted its annual “Northern New Jersey Stand Down for Homeless Veterans”, a one-day outreach effort that assisted hundreds of homeless veterans and their families, at the John F. Kennedy Recreation Center in Newark.

Stand Down partners and co-hosts included the city of Newark, the New Jersey State National Guard, the state Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs, and the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs.

The event had roughly 250 homeless veterans on hand to receive services, which represents a decrease in veteran participation from previous years.

This Stand Down was part of GI Go’s commitment to ending veteran homelessness, which also includes their recent Navy SEAL Hudson River Swim this past August 3rd. During that event, a team of over 30 United States Navy SEALs swam across the Hudson River from Liberty State Park, stopping at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and performing push-ups and pull-ups at each stop before arriving at Battery Park in NYC and running to the 9/11 Memorial. The swim was an incredible success, as it raised over $200,000 to help end veteran homelessness thanks to multiple days of national coverage on Fox & Friends.

“We set out this year to focus on ending veteran homelessness, and the success of the swim was a huge boost to our efforts," said GI Go Fund CEO Jack Fanous. "Now, we are happy to see us parlay that success to this event, giving so many homeless veterans the services they need to get back on their feet. And we are happy to report that there were less veterans this year than in previous years, which shows progress. But the work is never done, and we will continue to try to make veteran homelessness a thing of the past.”

Working with partners at the federal, state, and county level, the event provided haircuts, medical checkups, flu shots, and HIV testing, as well as counseling and information from private and public agencies about employment services, state and federal veterans’ benefits, substance abuse programs, vocational rehabilitation, recovery programs, hospice care, and legal services.

The event also had over 100 volunteers, including dozens from Panasonic, PSEG, Prudential, and the New Jersey Army National Guard, handing out clothes, serving food, and providing support to the veterans in attendance.

GI Go Fund has spent the past 12 years providing assistance to all military veterans by helping them find employment, access housing, and secure their educational and health benefits. The group forged a tremendous partnership with the city of Newark in 2008, and has since helped thousands of Newark area veterans and revolutionized the services they receive. Having partnered with great corporate leaders like PSEG and Panasonic, as well as innovative employment services like JobPath to help veterans train, connect to mentors, and find work, the group is paving the way for the next generation of veterans to get back on their feet.

Special thanks to Prudential's VetNet, Operation Gratitude, Team Rubicon, the American Red Cross, Backpacks for Life, the city of Newark, NJ Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker, Newark Councilman Joseph McCallum, Secaucus Vet Center, the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the VFW, SoldierOn, and all the volunteers for participating in the event and helping us make it a success.