October 13, 2018

Hundreds of Homeless Veterans Assisted at GI Go Fund Stand Down in Newark

Food, clothes, medical assistance, legal aid provided to homeless veterans and their families; Special thanks to Operation Gratitude for donating hundreds of care packages to assist veterans in need

From left to right - GI Go Fund CFO Alex Manis, CEO Jack Fanous, and former American Legion State Commander Bob Looby pose with hundreds of care packages provided to the Stand Down by Operation Gratitude

(NEWARK, NJ) – GI Go Fund, the organization that revolutionized veterans’ services in the city of Newark, along the New Jersey State National Guard, the state Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs, and the VA hosted the 2018 Stand Down for Homeless Veterans, a one-day outreach effort that assisted hundreds of homeless veterans and their families.

Working with partners at the federal, state, and county level, the event provided haircuts, medical checkups, manicures, and legal aid, 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, legal services, including legal support to address outstanding criminal matters.

The event included nearly 100 volunteers  who took time out of their Saturday to help veterans in need to hand out clothes and providing support to the veterans in attendance. Volunteers from the New Jersey Army National Guard also were there to serve lunch and connect with the veterans and their loved ones.

In addition, Operation Gratitude, an organization that has provided millions of care packages to service members stationed throughout the globe, provided hundreds of their trademark packages to the event to be distributed to the veterans in need.

“We are grateful for all the support we have received to make this event a success once again,” said GI Go Fund Executive Director Jack Fanous. “From everyone at Operation Gratitude to dedicated members of the city of Newark and the veteran advocates and leaders who worked so tirelessly every year to make the Stand Down what it is today. We certainly were able to help many homeless veterans today, but the work is never done, and we will continue to try to make veteran homelessness a thing of the past.”

Veterans received medical checkups, as well as food, clothes, and other critical services at the 2018 Stand Down for Homeless Veterans in Newark, NJ

“It is so great to be here and help our city’s veterans,” said Newark Councilman Joseph McCallum, who is a military veteran himself. “This event is so important for our city. We come together and work to help our heroes get the care they deserve, and I am proud of the work we have been able to do today.”

“I am so proud of GI Go Fund and all the great partners who made this event a success,” said NJ Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker. “Every year our veterans in need rely on this event to help them in tough times, and I am glad that we were able to get the job done for them. So to all the volunteers, organizers, sponsors, and to our veterans, I say thank you.”

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 the terrific partners who made this event a success, including Operation Gratitude, 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 who took the time out to help veterans in need.