SETX Stand Down 2020 aids area veterans, homeless – Beaumont Enterprise



Nonprofit organizations, census workers, healthcare providers, legal services and other veteran and human service groups filled a large tent outside the Veterans Center in Beaumont on Friday for Stand Down 2020.

The annual event is held in three Southeast Texas locations throughout the year — Port Arthur in January, Orange in May and Beaumont in September — to offer a spectrum of services to area veterans and homeless members of the community.


Event Chairman Willie P. Jones, who served first in the U.S. Marines and then the U.S. Army until retirement, says they expanded the event to include the homeless after Tropical Storm Harvey, “because after Harvey, everyone was in need.”

Veterans Center Director Dr. Louis Harris, also commander of Beaumont’s VFW Post 1806, said the staggered locations throughout the year allow them to reach more homeless who lack transportation and veterans in need of closer access to services the event provides.



The Beaumont event usually is held at the Civic Center and draws several hundred people, but because of the pandemic, it was moved to the lot outside the Veterans Center this year, Jones said.


Still, the turnout was steady through the day, as veterans and others circulated at the information booths, including one run by veterans Euphemia Davis, U.S. Army, and Jonetta Andrepont, U.S. Navy. The women are members of B.O.O.T.S — Bringing Out Our Troop Sisters — a nonprofit organization partnered with American Legion Post 33 that offers support, assistance and networking for women veterans. Andrepont said that, with no centralized resource center for women veterans, they came together to “support and point other women in the right direction for any assistance they need. It’s a sisterhood.”


They are partnering with Prairie View A&M to offer agricultural workshops for veterans interested in learning to farm.

Outside the tent, volunteers handed out boxed lunches from Jason’s Deli, bags of apples, and Army boots and duffle bags donated from various bases.


kbrent@beaumontenterprise.com



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