With many veterans left without proper food, clothing, shelter or health screenings, PODS, a local moving and storage company, is helping take a stand to end veteran homelessness during the first Santa Barbara County Stand Down from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Santa Maria Fairpark.
In April, PODS placed a container in the parking lot of the Administration Building at the Betteravia Government Center and has been collecting donations for the veterans from local businesses and the public. Since then, the Santa Barbara Stand Down Committee has helped sort through many collected items, such as towels, boxes of soap, socks, shirts, wheelchairs, clothing, books, combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, bottled water and paper goods. The container will then be transported to the Santa Maria Fairpark the day before the Stand Down event.
“The Stand Down is a great event to help many local veterans receive the services they need to get back on their feet,” said Steve Yapp, local PODS franchise owner. “PODS is honored to donate a container to have citizens fill it up with supplies for these veterans.”
Started in 1988, Stand Downs are an effort from the Veterans Affairs Department that helps provide services to homeless veterans. Since then, more than 200,000 veterans have been helped through the Stand Downs.
The Santa Barbara County Stand Down will have many services on hand for local veterans, including legal services, employment counseling, social services, mental, dental, vision and hearing services, photo IDs, chaplain services, comfort kits, toiletries and showers, meals, entertainment and more.
“It’s so inspiring to see people like Steve Yapp and his employees at PODS continue to step up for our veterans,” Santa Barbara County Fifth District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino said. “PODS has been a key to our success by providing us with a secure and convenient place for the community to store all the donated items that will be handed out to our veterans.”
The Santa Maria Fairpark is located at 937 S. Thornburg St. Click here for more information or to help volunteer for the Stand Down.
— Kateri Wozny is a publicist representing PODS.