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St. Anthony's offers homeless veterans help this Wednesday

Posted: November 9, 2009 4:11 p.m.
Updated: November 9, 2009 7:00 p.m.
 
SAN FRANCISCO -- While some may be attending parades or taking a day off to honor veterans, many veterans themselves will be spending Veterans Day struggling to secure food and housing.

This Wednesday frrom 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the St. Anthony Foundation , representatives from Swords to The St. Anthony Foundation Plowshares, the Veterans Health Administration, and St. Anthony Foundation will be reaching out to homeless vets who are in need of support and assistance. In addition to information on programs and services that are available, veterans will also receive rain ponchos, beanies, Kleen Kanteen bottles, and hygiene kits.

One of every three homeless men in America has served in the armed forces and every night an estimated 131,000 veterans sleep out on the streets, according to the Veteran Administration. About 25% of those who turn to St. Anthony's Dining Room are veterans who rely on free meals to sustain them. Swords to Plowshares currently serves approximately 1,500 veterans in the Bay Area regardless of length of service, branch, or military discharge status.

Last week the VA unveiled their 5-year plan for preventing homelessness among vets. Some of the highlights of the plan include connecting vets to local service providers, more access to permanent and transitional housing, and services to address mental health needs. Next year the department plans to spend $3.2 billion on programs, up from last year's budget of $2.8 billion. But all three organizations acknowledge that strong partnerships between government, private, and non-profits will be needed to close the needs gap that veterans face.

"It is the hope of our three organizations that by working together we can be of service to the veterans that have sacrificed their physical and mental well-being to serve their country. We all see every day how great the need is," noted St. Anthony Foundation Interim Executive Director Linda Pasquinucci.

The St. Anthony Foundation can be found at 119 Golden Gate Ave @ Jones, San Francisco 94102.

The San Francisco VAMC Downtown Clinic is a comprehensive center for homeless veterans, offering on-site and immediate medical, mental, and social work assistance. For more information, visit sanfrancisco.va.gov.

Swords to Plowshares' mission is to heal the wounds, to restore dignity, hope, and self-sufficiency to all veterans in need, and to reduce homelessness and poverty among veterans. For more information, visit stp-sf.org.

Since 1950 St. Anthony Foundation has addressed root causes of poverty with compassion. St. Anthony Foundation's programs offer gateways to escaping poverty by addressing immediate and long term needs. St. Anthony Foundation does not accept any federal, state, or local government money, and is entirely funded by private donations. For more information, visit stanthonysf.org.

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