October marked the 20th year for the annual Operation Stand Down event in Nashville. Much like past years, VA TVHS employees showed their support for the fight against homelessness by volunteering their talents.
Since 1993, a coalition of over 50 Nashville organizations has used the concept to organize a three day event for Veterans who are homeless. The event provides outreach, information, and a variety of social services for Nashville's homeless Veterans. The event has been held annually each fall. More than 25 community services agencies, over 25 veteran service organizations, and many local businesses support the event each year. VA TVHS provides a significant amount of this support annually.
Employees of the healthcare system volunteered for the event in roles ranging from healthcare to serving food to ensure homeless Veterans had the opportunity to receive services they need.
Amanda Swam, a social worker in the HUD/VASH Program, volunteered to help at this year's event. As a relatively new employee at VA TVHS, this was the first opportunity for Swam to volunteer at "stand down."
"I have been looking forward to this event since coming to work here," said Swam. "I have heard about 'stand down' from my coworkers. This event was a great opportunity to employ outreach practices for our Veterans who really need our services. I loved the opportunity to connect with Veterans and the other resources in the community. It was an amazing event," she said.