Stand Down for Homeless offers resources for homeless veterans

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Multiple agencies came together Friday to provide a one-stop location for homeless veterans searching for resources.

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Curtis Anderson gets a haircut from Lakeisha Wilkes during Stand Down for the Homeless. The annual event offered free haircuts and hot food. It also gave participants the chance to get tested for HIV and ask questions about benefits.   Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Curtis Anderson gets a haircut from Lakeisha Wilkes during Stand Down for the Homeless. The annual event offered free haircuts and hot food. It also gave participants the chance to get tested for HIV and ask questions about benefits.

The annual Stand Down for the Homeless outside the Salvation Army on Greene Street offered giveaways such as haircuts and hot food, and the chance to get tested for HIV and ask questions about benefits.

For the organizers, it was an opportunity to reach out to a sometimes-reclusive population and work to reduce the number of home­less on Augusta’s streets.

Kathleen Scott, of the Department of Vet­erans Affairs, which worked with the Salvation Army for the event, said at noon more than 300 people had been served break­fast and more were expected to receive resources.

Jose Lopez was one of many gripping a large blue bag holding winter clothes and a sleeping bag. The former Marine has a place to stay now but has been homeless many times. The shelters quickly fill up in the winter and all the warm spots on the street are taken after that, he said.

Lopez said he came to the event to have his blood pressure taken but was also grateful for a hot meal.

Neotis Foreman, a homeless Vietnam veteran, was walking away with boots and a sleeping bag. He learned about the event through the VA and, like Lopez, was glad to receive resources to help him get through a rough patch in life.

Ashley Grigg with the Georgia School of Cosmetology was starting on what she guessed was her 20th hair cut.

Given the makeup of the crowd, the most popular haircut seemed obvious.

“We’re doing a lot of buzz cuts,” she said.

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Dixieman
23608
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Dixieman 10/28/11 - 06:27 pm
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Can we JUST ONCE have a story

Can we JUST ONCE have a story about veterans who are NOT homeless alcoholic beggars? Most of us are respectable well-adjusted citizens (Bob Young, Fred Smith (founder of FedEx), Craig Ventner (discoverer of human genome), John McCain, even Al Gore). Why does the media always do this to us??

shearly_blessed
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shearly_blessed 10/28/11 - 07:21 pm
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Were you there? I was. I gave

Were you there? I was. I gave haircuts to over 20 men, women and children. Don't judge these people! They are not all alcoholic beggars. Try humbling your self and thanking God that you have a warm bed and food. Some of these people are honestly trying to better themselves. I understand that alot of them are substance abusers but alot of them are children! Instead of leaving nasty comments try praying for these people who have nothing.

Vito45
-2
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Vito45 10/29/11 - 12:32 am
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Dixieman: "Why does the media

Dixieman: "Why does the media always do this to us??" I'm sorry you take offense, but I think it is a good thing to bring attention to the plight of citizens that many of us have a special soft spot for. Raising awareness of some vets' bad situation is always a good thing because a lot of folks just never get exposure to it. Only good can come of it IMO.

jbl19584
1
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jbl19584 10/29/11 - 04:26 pm
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Why can't they open Regancy

Why can't they open Regancy Mall or other empty buildings during the winter and let homeless people stay there? I know lights, water and security is an issue. Wouldn't it save having to worry about breakins, beggars and people freezing. I do go to church and believe in helping others. I pray others will try to help .

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