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'It meant a lot, to a whole lot': Stand Down event offers assistance to hundreds of Kansas City veterans

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Posted at 2:58 PM, Oct 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-13 18:47:58-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo — The Kansas City VA Medical Center hosted its annual “Stand Down for Veterans” on Friday.

Over 40 different community organizations came together to offer their goods and services to our local veterans.

“Our mission here today is to help as many homeless veterans as we can," said Jimmy, an event organizer. "We have showers; we have food."

Jimmy remembers being on the other side. He walked into a “Stand Down” event 13 years ago and changed his life around.

“They don’t really know what’s out there, so this is an event to get them the opportunities, show them the way, and the doors that they need to open to get the help they need,” Jimmy said.

Event organizers say lines have been forming since four o’clock in the morning. The need is here and vendors like Steve Davis, from reStart Inc., are here to meet it.

“My belief is, if I have food, I’m gonna help somebody, especially veterans," Davis said. "They do so much for us, so they should never be wondering where their next meal is coming from."

More than 300 people were expected to come through the event. It is a one-stop shop for veterans, whether they are looking for food, haircuts, jobs or housing.

Legal Aid was also at the event helping veterans clear their warrants.

“Life is never over until it’s over. Always keep striving, move forward,” said Silvester Hill, a veteran.

Silvester Hill and Steven Jones are both Army veterans. They have been coming to the event since the 80s. While the services and location may have changed over the years, they say one thing has always remained the same: the people.

“Times now are hard, and it’s like, nobody really looking out for anybody else," Jones said. "So to know there is some people that do and they are there, its great. It gives you hope."