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Shaft notes

• On Jan. 21, hundreds of homeless and at-risk veterans will attend the Washington D.C. VA Medical Center’s (DCVAMC) Winterhaven Homeless Stand Down. This Stand Down brings together more than 70 federal, state and community agencies to provide a day of service and support for veterans in need.

Veterans will receive medical mental health care, employment support, housing services, legal counseling, hot meals, warm clothing, comfort kits, haircuts, Google voice cards and referrals for clothing at local thrift stores.

The Winterhaven Homeless Stand Down will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the VA Medical Center, 50 Irving St. NW, Washington, D.C.

There will be medical screenings for cholesterol, Hepatitis C and HIV. Flu and pneumonia shots will be offered as well as eye and dental exams. Consultative services offered include podiatry, infectious diseases and women’s health. Psycho-social referrals for veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and substance abuse will also be available.

Employment advisers representing the D.C., Maryland and Virginia Department of Labor Employment Offices, VA Vocational Rehabilitation Services and the D.C. Coalition for the Homeless will be on hand to offer guidance. Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) and Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) will assist with VA benefits claims.

In 2009, VA set a goal of ending homelessness among Veterans by 2015. Here in our nation’s capital, DCVAMC is doing its part through partnerships with city, state and federal agencies, a wide-array of programs and services, and through this annual Stand Down.

For more information, contact the Office of Public Affairs at 202/745-4037 or visit

• The Department of Veterans Affairs has entered agreements to provide more than 3,000 units of permanent and transitional housing for veterans at 25 VA medical center campuses nationwide.

Additionally, agreements are pending on an additional 1,000 units, which we anticipate completing in the coming weeks. Proposed opportunities include housing for homeless veterans, senior veterans, disabled veterans, other at-risk veteran populations and their families.

“As we approach Veterans Day, it is important that we never forget the sacrifices made by our Veterans to ensure the freedom and independence all Americans cherish,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call 202/257-5446 or email