"Leave No One Behind"

About Stand Down

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What is a Stand Down?
In times of war exhausted combat units requiring time to rest and recover were removed from the battlefields to a place of relative safety and security. Other rested units assumed the watch. Today, Stand Down refers to a time when our homeless veterans can remove themselves from the combat of the streets and allow VVSD and the community of San Diego to stand the watch so they can receive needed services and rest.

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or send us a check made payable to Veterans Village of San Diego, 4141 Pacific Highway San Diego, CA 92110.

VVSD organized the nation’s first Stand Down in 1988. Since then, the program has been replicated. More than 200 Stand Downs take place across the nation each year. “The program has become recognized as the most valuable outreach tool to help homeless veterans in the nation today,” according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

Stand Down’s philosophy is a hand up, not a hand out. Stand Down is more than a place to get … it is a place to belong, once again, to a community.

When veterans walk into the gates of Stand Down in mid-July they will be greeted with a handshake and open arms, breakfast, coffee and fruit. They will be assigned to a tent where tent leaders will assist them in accessing the services they need; immediate visits to the clothing tent, showers, barbers, makeovers, medical, dental and optical services.

But immediate need is not the only service provided. There is Homeless Court, family court, counseling, VA benefits, employment and job counseling, integrative medicine, recovery providers, shelters and more. Over 12,000 meals are served by veteran’s service organizations, service clubs, local chefs and businesses.

Stand Down is a place of miracles. Lives are changes and lives are saved.

For perhaps the first time in many days, maybe months or years our veterans have a safe haven to put down their burdens and lift themselves up to the possibilities of change. Nearly 4,500 volunteers give up their time and expertise to lend an ear and a heart to those who served us so well.

For More Information on Other Stand Downs:

If you are looking for a Stand Down in your own community please go to The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans and look for one in your area.

If you are hoping to start a Stand Down in your area we have the Step by Step Procedural Manual and the Stand Down Program Guide are available for download. If there is not a Stand Down scheduled in a community near you, you could help organize a planning committee to assist the homeless veterans in your area.


Veterans Village of San Diego connects with America’s veterans to overcome their homelessness and related challenges, creating lives of dignity and fulfillment.