SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – The 10th annual Santa Barbara County Veterans Stand Down event on Oct. 15 was able to connect hundreds of veterans to an array of services, according to organizers.
Of the 389 attending veterans, over 100 classified themselves as homeless.
The event helped connect the veterans to services such as clothing, housing assistance, legal aid, mental health counseling, medical care and more, according to organizers.
In addition to the hot meal at the event and almost 100 different assistance services present, hygiene kits and backpacks filled with survival gear were also distributed.
The event, founded by Santa Barbara County Supervisor Steve Lavagnino, enlists the help of around 100 consistent volunteers.
A large number of the 509 total volunteers present at this year's event were active duty service members from Vandenberg Space Force Base.
“Santa Barbara County is blessed with citizens who possess great public spirit, that in addition to their daily pursuits, have taken a keen interest in the community,” said Supervisor Lavagnino.
Some of the new providers present for the event this year included: Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International, Direct Mortgage Funding, California Council on Problem Gambling and Legacy Village.
The next Stand Down event is scheduled for Oct. 28, 2023.