, WV — The Martinsburg VA Medical Center (VAMC) held the HeroHaven Homeless Stand Down earlier this month, marking 13 years of the annual event to end Veteran homelessness.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, this year’s event was again held outside as a drive-thru with the theme “Stop, Drop, & Roll.”
The Veterans all received comfort kits that included sleeping bags, Bibles, toiletry-filled backpacks, and shoes. Additional items included cold weather essentials such as blankets, hats, and gloves.
“This event is a collaborative effort on behalf of the medical center,” says Michelle Cooke, Deputy Chief of Mental Health Service, which oversees the mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (MHRRTP). Mental Health employees were joined by Chaplains, Nursing, Medical Administration, and more to assist the effort.
Employees were on hand to screen and register Veterans for services and one Veteran was admitted into the facility’s Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans (DCHV) program the next day.
The Martinsburg VAMC operates one of the largest Domiciliary programs in the country, with over 200 beds. The Domiciliary helps Veterans on their recovery journey through residential treatment programs for rehabilitation, health maintenance, and community support.
Eligibility for DCHV varies, but these programs pertain specifically to Veterans who deal with substance abuse, homelessness, mental health, and unemployment through its inpatient therapeutic and educational programs. These services provide recovery-oriented, evidence-based treatment that are designed to improve the Veterans functional status, as well as their successful integration into the community.
“We are so proud of the success of this year’s Stand Down event,” says Cooke, who noted that all Veteran participants expressed their gratitude for the information and services provided.