Tucson Homeless Veterans Stand Down begins - FOX Carolina 21

Tucson Homeless Veterans Stand Down begins

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Up to 79 homeless veterans will have a comfortable bed to sleep in Friday night as they prepare for day two of Tucson's Homeless Veterans Stand Down this weekend.

Volunteers with Tucson Veterans Serving Veterans is hosting this year's event at the Days Inn motel on I-10 near Congress Street from Saturday through Sunday.

A total of 200 homeless veterans expect to show up for various services that will help them get back on their feet. They include job training, legal advice, free haircuts, and a place to obtain clothes and shoes.

Stand Down Co-Chairman Cliff Wade rounded up the homeless veterans he knows of, including one who stays at a homeless camp in the Santa Cruz River bed.

"I've personally helped eight individuals come out of here and come into permanent-type housing," Wade said.

Wade was once homeless himself five years ago and it was a stand down event that helped him get back on track.

He invited Michael Irvin, a veteran who served a six-year term with the National Guard, to join the stand down this year.

Irvin has lived in the camp for six months, even crafting a makeshift battery charger using a solar panel that a friend gave him.

"It's kind of hard to adjust, you know, but it's working," Irvin said.

Wade said of the 31 homeless people who live at the wash, about six are veterans.

"We don't really ask for anything. It's just that sometimes we need a blanket or some kind of love, you know what I mean?" Irvin said.

But on Friday, just a few miles south at the Days Inn, Irvin found plenty of people who do want to help.

"It feels like someone cares. It's a nice feeling," Irvin said.

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