MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

Volunteers to help South Florida’s homeless vets on Memorial Day weekend

 

Organizers call the event a “stand down,” a military term for removing exhausted troops from the battlefield.

 
During the celebration of Memorial Day on Monday, May 31, 2010, a flag placed on a veteran's grave blows in the wind as the American Legion Memorial Veterans Monument, originally built in the 1920s, at Woodlawn Park Cemetery North is unveiled after being restored with the help of students from the Florida International University ceramics department.
During the celebration of Memorial Day on Monday, May 31, 2010, a flag placed on a veteran's grave blows in the wind as the American Legion Memorial Veterans Monument, originally built in the 1920s, at Woodlawn Park Cemetery North is unveiled after being restored with the help of students from the Florida International University ceramics department.
Allison Diaz

crosenberg@MiamiHerald.com

Community activists will set up a tent city shelter in Miami on Memorial Day weekend to help homeless and at-risk military veterans.

The event, organized by the Florida Veterans Foundation, will be at American Legion Post 29, 6445 NE Seventh Ave., May 23-25 — and draw volunteer firefighters, troops and others from the community, including singer Connie Francis.

Organizers are calling it a “stand down,” said Army Col. Greg Julian, who will be commander of the tent city dubbed “Camp Hope.”

The term comes from times of war when the military removed “exhausted combat units” to safe, secure locations, said Julian, “to rest and recover from the battlefield.”

Julian said he expects 300 veterans from Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties to take part in the program — which will provide health and legal services as well as meals.

“For three days, we will provide a place where our homeless patriots and their families can access resources to change and perhaps save their lives,” Julian said in a statement.

“Some of these services will include: medical care, housing assistance, employment services, legal services, spiritual counseling and much more. Of course, shelter, hot meals, showers, clean clothes and hair treatments will also be available daily.”

Anyone interested in volunteering or providing contributions can call 561-376-1715, register online at www.northfloridastanddown.org/pages/sfsd.html or email Juan Duenas at juanduenas@bellsouth.net.

Homeless veterans who want to take part can get transportation to the site from three locations outside Miami-Dade County:

• Salvation Army of Broward County — Adult Rehabilitation Center, 1901 W. Broward Blvd., Fort. Lauderdale.

• Stone of Hope VFW, 4414 Pembroke Rd., West Park. (954) 978-6089.

•  1200 Truman Ave., Key West.

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