- Associated Press - Saturday, May 24, 2014

MIAMI (AP) - Singer Connie Francis will be in South Florida this weekend in an effort to address homelessness among veterans.

Francis and Florida Veterans Foundation Inc. have organized a three-day “Stand Down” event for about 300 veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

“Can you just imagine, you come home with PTSD, you have no home no family, no nothing,” said Francis. “This is a terrible, terrible situation.”

Participants will live in tents set up by local fire, police and active duty military volunteers. The veterans and their families will have access to medical care, housing assistance, counseling and employment and legal services. They also will get hot meals, showers, clean clothes and haircuts.

Francis will address the veterans Saturday night. She says she plans to work with Miami’s mayor on efforts to help veterans.

According to the Florida Veterans Foundation, the weekend event is part of a national, grassroots effort to help an estimated 59,000 homeless veterans in the U.S.

Francis‘ signature song is “Where the Boys Are,” the title track to the 1960 film filmed in Fort Lauderdale. The 76-year-old singer says she’s been passionate about veterans’ causes since she was 10 years old and her parents would drive her to the homes of returning troops so she could sing and play the accordion.

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