“The city of Jacksonville stepped in to help homeless veterans get back on their feet and get adjusted back into civilian life.
Saturday capped off the two-day “Homeless Veterans Stand Down” event at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds.
“You have to be willing to ask for help to receive it,” said Jennifer Blum, who is a Navy veteran.
Blum and more than 200 others were able to sign up for dental and medical care, check out options for housing, a job and even counseling.
Blum fell on hard times following four years as an electronics technician in the Navy from 1983 to 1987.
“My car got stolen, and I lost my job,” she said. “That is how I ended up homeless.”
The city is helping as the number of homeless veterans is growing. This event, happening for the 20th year, is one way to change that trend.
Veterans could get free haircuts, hair styling and take clothes.
Our local heroes even had access to things like warm blankets, toiletries and bags of food all provided by the Jim Dotson Foundation.
They spent the morning and early afternoon stopping at tables for information like checking the status of a license or ID.
All of that was valuable for Darrell Crye.
“I don’t really need a lot, but there’s still some information I did not know about,” he said. “It’s a good program for people who are really in need when they get out.”
Crye spent a decade in the Navy as a cook. He served during Desert Storm on the now-decommissioned USS John F. Kennedy in Mayport.
He and Blum are relying on their faith to get them through the hard times….”