The Ybor City Campus of Hillsborough Community College and the Coalition for the Homeless of Hillsborough County teamed up to sponsor “The Stand Down.” The term “stand down” comes from the Vietnam War, meaning a safe retreat from combat operation. The term has evolved to mean an event which provides a chance for those agencies that provide services for homeless veterans and non-veterans a day to gather in one place to allow individuals in need to find assistance and services that are catered to their needs.
This Stand Down was no different. Many agencies offering a variety of services were on hand to provide help for the hundreds of individuals –many of which braved threatening weather. Attendees walked, biked, and were bussed to Ybor City to join the event. Local businesses donated time, money and services; churches and social groups provided breakfast and lunch and community health organizations had health screenings and HIV testing.
Since the original focus of the “Stand Down” concept was to assist struggling veterans, one of the busiest rooms was the Veteran’s Affairs Room. This room catered to the special needs of the men and women who have served in the military. Thirty percent of those in attendance on Saturday were veterans seeking and receiving assistance and services.
The Stand Down was originally a service learning collaboration between an Ybor City Campus College Success class and the Coalition for the Homeless. However, as the date got closer it seemed to reach past the single class that began rolling the ball. Many members of the HCC and HCC Ybor City Community worked hard to make the day a success. Members from Advising and Finance, Security, and the Sodexho team, as well as many HCC students (and their children) worked hard to greet, listen to and serve those in need. Overall, the day was a success and HCC can be proud of the effort and service that it provided to the community.
Article written by: Ybor City Staff