Newark's homeless veterans given a hand up

(09/09/06) NEWARK - Newark's homeless military veterans received a hand up Saturday as part of a program dedicated to helping veterans learn to lead a better life.

New Jersey's Department of Military and Veterans Affairs hosted their annual Stand Down event, which provides homeless veterans with access to free medical screenings, food, haircuts and winter clothing. The event also offers counseling on everything from veterans' benefits and vocational training to curbing substance abuse.

Several veterans said they believe that after serving their country, the government should have done more for them upon their return. Officials say the goal of the program is to bring a wide range of services together in one place to help the homeless survive. They say this expresses the community's concern about their wellbeing. The department estimates that more than 8,000 homeless veterans live in New Jersey.

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