Veterans Assistance Weekend

Start Date: 2021-09-18

Description: Veterans Assistance Weekend is a 2-day outreach event where homeless and low-income veterans from around Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts are afforded access to a multitude of services provided by OSDRI and longtime federal, state, and community partners. Due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, COVID had an impact on the number of teams available to deploy for this year’s event. In the end, Rafter and I were the only HOPE team at the event and we were only attended on Saturday afternoon. Rafter and I were once again warmly welcomed by members of OSDRI as well as volunteers from other agencies participating in the event. We spent time interacting with veterans and their families while they waited for assorted services including the medical and dental clinics, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many veterans took an opportunity to share stories about some of the things they experienced during their time in the service and the difficulties they have encountered since leaving the military. OSDRI provided lunch and dinner for all the veterans and volunteers participating in the event. As dinner was the final event of the weekend, most of the vendors had already packed up and many folks were waiting in line to be served. This afforded us another excellent location to spend time interacting with veterans and volunteers alike. This is a yearly event that is always scheduled for the third weekend in September. Rafter was treated like a rock star and many, many people thanked me for bringing him to the event and indicated they hoped to see us again next year!

Agency: Operation Stand Down Rhode Island
Teams: None