Quad Cities Stand Down For Homeless Veterans - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Quad Cities Stand Down For Homeless Veterans


A popular Quad City event that helps homeless veterans held a winter event on Thursday. Stand Down for Homeless Veterans offers resources to help veterans utilize homeless services. There were also jackets, hats, food and hygiene kits available for the veterans.

"It's good for us to step up and say what can we do help in the interim between the 3 day event and the one day event," says Mike Malmstrom, Co-Director of Stand Down For Homeless Veterans.

Stand Down has more than 30 agencies offering to help veterans. Some of the veterans who attended Thursday's event are not homeless, but are very close to having to live on the streets.  They're hoping stand down can help prevent that.

Steve Eckman served in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. This is Eckman's first Stand Down for Homeless Vets.

"I think it's a great way to get in touch with other vets," says Eckman.

Eckman used to have a good paying job, installing cables, like fiber optics. However, he lost his job 2 years ago and hasn't been able to find work. He's at stand down trying to improve his job prospects.

"Continuing education is my number one focus," adds Eckman.

Eckman currently works part time at the Goodwill and the organization is one of the services at Stand Down trying to help vets.

"We can put them back to work and show that they are working," says Steve Bunn, Goodwill Homeless Veterans Integration Program, "We can give them job skills and teach them about going to work everyday."

Some of the problems homeless veterans face is they don't have current resumes or job skills required for many positions.

"Just imagine you don't have transportation, you don't have a phone, and you don't have a normal place to sleep every night," adds Bunn, "It's even tougher than the average person."

Eckman says his part time job is helping him get back on his feet and he's using other resources available at Stand Down.

"Being able to talk with these people and get the feedback that they have, we just didn't even know all of it existed," says Eckman.