The Santa Barbara County Veterans Stand Down on Oct. 15 will be a safe place for veterans to get help they might need, including healthcare screenings, employment assistance, on-the-spot assessments, and crisis counseling.

Geared toward homeless and at-risk veterans, the free annual event will take place 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Santa Maria Fairpark, 937 S. Thornburg St. The Stand Down is limited to the first 500 veterans, legal spouses, and dependent children younger than 18.

Applications for veterans who want to attend are available at the Santa Barbara County Veterans Stand Down website, or by calling county Supervisor Steve Lavagnino’s office, 805-346-8402.

Transportation courtesy of the Chumash Casino is also available, with information and pick-up times and locations listed on the website.

Stand Down organizers have created an easy link for donors to select needed items at and have them delivered directly to Stand Down. Follow the directions at and select from dozens of items. Donations of gift cards are appreciated and will be used to fill unmet needs for the day of the event.

Stand Down volunteers will also be available at a drive-through donation center Oct. 5 and Oct. 12 at the Santa Maria Fairpark. The site at the small livestock barn (enter at Gate 5, on West Stowell at Depot Street) will be open noon-2 p.m. those dates.

A collection in Lompoc will be from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 1-2 at Wal-Mart, 701 W. Central Ave. New items, such as sweatpants, sweatshirts ,and long-sleeve shirts are greatly needed.

Veterans may also bring small pets to Stand Down for vaccinations and grooming. The Stand Down Pet Zone is in need of donations, including 4-foot and 6-foot leashes, small dog and cat collars, small bags of dog and cat food, oatmeal pet shampoo, and dog and cat beds.

Stand Down organizers are also in need of volunteer barbers and stylists for the event. Email for more information.