In military terms, the phrase “stand down” can be an order to rest and recover after a battle.
For the Rev. Jim McIntosh, head of the Liberty Regional Homeless Coalition and a veteran himself, it means a hand up by helping area service members, veterans and their families “address some of life’s basic needs” through Operation Stand Down 2018.
Set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 23 at Bradwell Park, the event in downtown Hinesville is expected to draw almost 60 agencies, McIntosh said, noting, “we’re going to need a bigger downtown.”
Among the LHRC’s partners in the event are the Fort Stewart Garrison Command, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Georgia Department of Veterans Services and “more than 50 community organizations and businesses,” McIntosh said.
The event, geared toward serving active duty military as well as veterans and those in the reserve or National Guard, is a first for Hinesville, according to McIntosh, but it’s not a new concept.
The first Operation Stand Down of its kind took place in San Diego in 1988 was organized by Vietnam veterans to help one another, he said. Similar events have spread across the country in the 30 years since.
McIntosh is billing this event as a one-stop shop of sorts for residents of Liberty, Long, Bryan, McIntosh, Tattnall and Wayne counties.
Those who come will learn about available services ranging from health care and mental health counseling to job training and placement. The event is also open to the public “for non-military related services” according to a press release, and will additionally focus on poverty and homelessness prevention.
McIntosh said putting a wide range of services in one spot makes them more accessible to those who need them most. And he’s already set June 30 as a rain date.
For more information, call McIntosh at 912-271-3192 or email email@example.com.