PANAMA CITY, FL –Organizations from across the community pulled together to help our area’s homeless veterans. On Friday, November 5, CareerSource Gulf Coast led the effort, hosting the 14th Annual
Homeless Veterans Stand Down.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Point-in-Time (PIT) Count estimates that on a single night in January 2020, roughly 37,252 Veterans were experiencing homelessness and just over 22,048 were unsheltered or on the street. The state of Florida has the second highest veterans’ homeless rate in the country Behind California. Florida has an estimated 2,436 homeless Veterans. The number of veterans experiencing homelessness declined by nearly 50 percent since 2009.
“We are so appreciative of our veterans and all the sacrifices they have made in service to our country. This event is a way that we can give back and serve those veterans who are in need,” CareerSource Gulf Coast Executive Director Kim Bodine said. “We served 46 veterans this year and offered to continue to help them on their path back to employment and a fulfilling life.”
The 14th Annual Homeless Veterans Stand Down was held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Gulf Coast State College, 5230 W. US 98 in Panama City. Numerous community agencies were on hand during the day to offer information and assistance to homeless veterans. The Bay Town Trolley also provided all veterans free transportation to any of their stops, in honor of the event.
In addition to haircuts, a hot breakfast and lunch,
services included information about employment and education, medical
screenings, dental screenings, social service assistance, and VA benefits. Event
participants also received non-perishable food, toiletries, clothing,
backpacks, and sleeping bags. The goal was to equip area homeless veterans with
the resources needed to transition from the streets and shelters back into the
“We are grateful for the many partners in this community who have continuously stepped forward to help us serve our local homeless veterans,” Bodine said. “We are all unified on the premise that our veterans have served and now it’s our turn. Through this event, we do just that.”
The local Stand Down event for homeless veterans was
modeled after the Stand Down concept used during the Vietnam War to provide a
safe retreat for units returning from combat operations. At secure base camp
areas, troops were able to take care of personal hygiene, get clean uniforms,
enjoy warm meals, receive medical and dental care, mail and receive letters,
and enjoy the camaraderie of friends in a safe environment. Stand Down afforded
battle-weary soldiers the opportunity to renew their spirit, health, and
overall sense of well-being.
More details about the 14th Annual Homeless
Veterans Stand Down are available at www.careersourcegc.com,
or by calling 850-872-4340.
CareerSource Gulf Coast provides services to job
seekers and employers in Bay, Gulf, and Franklin counties, with the primary Career
Center located in Panama City at 625 Highway 231. The Franklin County Office is
located in Apalachicola at 1 Bay Avenue, and the Gulf County Office is located
in the Port St. Joe Community Resource Center, 401 Peters St.
Visit www.careersourcegc.com to learn more about
professional workforce development and job placement services, all offered at
compliance with the Stevens Amendment CareerSource Gulf Coast must provide
percentages of total cost of programs/projects financed with federal money and non-governmental
sources as well as dollar amounts of the federal funds for projects and
programs. You may find this information on our website: