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Bloomington’s “VA Stand Down” To Tout Benefits For Veterans


Photo: Daniel Robison/ WFIU

Bloomington will host a program seeking to connect veterans -- many of whom have experienced homelessness -- with services offered by local and federal government agencies.

Bloomington community organizations and officials from the Department for Veteran’s Affairs are organizing what they are calling the city’s first-ever “VA Stand Down,” an event in October to connect homeless veterans with services they may not know exist.

“There’s a really big need,” Maryjane McNabb of Homeless Services for Veterans in Monroe County said. “Bloomington and the surrounding areas have a lot more homeless people than I think a lot of citizens are aware of.”

According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, roughly one third of the adult homeless population once served in the military. Indianapolis VA Medical Center spokeswoman Julie Webb said regardless of age, homeless veterans have difficulty finding work.

“It’s cross-generational, so it doesn’t really matter,” she said. “And right now with the economy I believe that the returning veterans are having tough times finding jobs.”

McNabb said similar events have been held in Indianapolis in the past.  Bloomington’s is scheduled for Thursday, October 13 at American Legion Post 18.

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