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Fort Hall group hosts first-ever event connecting veterans and homeless people with resources

Develynn Hall stands behind the U.S. and Shoshone-Bannock Tribes flags during the opening ceremony. | Logan Ramsey, EastIdahoNews.com
FORT HALL — Veterans and homeless people went to a local high school to seek out much needed services in order to improve their lives.
The first Veterans and Homeless Stand Down event was held at Shoshone-Bannock Jr./Sr. High School on March 22, organized by a committee led by Develynn Hall, the 2023 Miss Shoshone-Bannock. The aim of the event was to bring social services that could benefit the lives of veterans and homeless people all into one place.
“These veteran stand down events are really important, and (there aren’t any) around here,” Hall said during the opening ceremony. “Just like any other sort of outreach, these events are needed.”
Darrel Archuleta, a committee member and army veteran of the Vietnam War, said the event was for “veterans to get together and find out what kind of stuff they need, what kind of help they need, and it’s another way of running in and speaking with other veterans.”
To organize the event, Hall enlisted the help of people with a variety of backgrounds, including representatives of Veteran Affairs, a school board member and former service members in the community.
Hall, the commanding officer for the Fort Hall Veterans Organization and a member of the National Guard, said that veterans and the homeless often don’t know where to go to seek help or who to talk to.
Archuleta agreed with this sentiment.
The experience of going to veterans affairs is one that can be overwhelming for many veterans, Hall adds.
“The VA could be really intimidating for service members who don’t know how to even approach it, so we just felt the need to do an event like this,” Hall said.
Alyson Isaacs, a social worker on the committee, said that there’s multiple reasons why a returning veteran can end up homeless.
“Some people become unemployed. Sometimes there’s mental health problems that interfere with their daily life and they find themselves on hard times,” Issacs said.
At the event, representatives of Veterans Affairs were available to speak with veterans about what help was available to them.
“I recommend every veteran go … ask about their health benefits,” Archuleta said.
Doctors and physical therapist were there volunteering their time. There were also vendors who could help with finding a job or housing.
More than 500 pounds of clothing were donated for veterans and the homeless.
Hall brought on the Blackfoot High School Indigenous Club to help with the clothing drive and serving lunch.
The planning committee wants this to be an annual community event.
“Veterans, please reach out. There is help out there for you,” Archuleta said.
The post Fort Hall group hosts first-ever event connecting veterans and homeless people with resources appeared first on East Idaho News.
Source: eastidahonews.com

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