AZ StandDown helps homeless vets regain independence - WFSB 3 Connecticut

AZ StandDown helps homeless vets regain independence

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Doug Vaughan is a former homeless veteran who lived on the streets for two years. He went to StandDown two years ago, and now has his own apartment and works full time as a security officer at Phoenix Baptist Hospital. (Source: CBS 5 News) Doug Vaughan is a former homeless veteran who lived on the streets for two years. He went to StandDown two years ago, and now has his own apartment and works full time as a security officer at Phoenix Baptist Hospital. (Source: CBS 5 News)
The 13th annual Arizona StandDown is a three-day "all-call" for the homeless and at-risk veterans to come in off the streets and regain their independence. (Source: CBS 5 News) The 13th annual Arizona StandDown is a three-day "all-call" for the homeless and at-risk veterans to come in off the streets and regain their independence. (Source: CBS 5 News)
More than 1,500 homeless and at-risk veterans were expected to receive assistance during the event that lasts through Sunday. (Source: CBS 5 News) More than 1,500 homeless and at-risk veterans were expected to receive assistance during the event that lasts through Sunday. (Source: CBS 5 News)
A veteran get a shave and a haircut, a shower, clothing, food and shelter, a medical checkup and can be referred for services such mental health and healthcare. (Source: CBS 5 News) A veteran get a shave and a haircut, a shower, clothing, food and shelter, a medical checkup and can be referred for services such mental health and healthcare. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The biggest homeless outreach event in Arizona got underway at Veteran's Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds on Friday morning.

The 13th annual Arizona StandDown is a three-day "all-call" for the homeless and at-risk veterans to come in off the streets and regain their independence.

Volunteers from the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness and Veterans Services set up shop at the fairgrounds and began busing in homeless people from all around the Valley.

StandDown is a military term that refers to a brief period of time for a soldier to leave an active combat area, to rest and regain strength before returning to battle.

More than 1,500 homeless and at-risk veterans were expected to receive temporary assistance during the event that lasts through Sunday.

They can come in, sign up, get a shave and a haircut, a shower, clothing, food and shelter, a medical checkup and can be referred for services such mental health and healthcare.

"We've seen people get housed immediately from StandDown," said Shane Growen of the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness. "It happens frequently and they stay in housing. It's a changing event, a life-changing event."

Doug Vaughan is a former homeless veteran who lived on the streets for two years.

"It's hard out there, hard out there," Vaughan said about life on the streets. "And without the help I got I wouldn't be here.

"There are no words," said the former U.S. Army private, his voice breaking with emotion. "They helped me a lot."

Vaughan went to StandDown two years ago, and now has his own apartment and works full time as a security officer at Phoenix Baptist Hospital.

He's getting ready to "graduate" from the program because with their help he's ready to make it on his own.

The event runs all day Friday, continues with a job fair on Saturday and wraps up Sunday.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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