The Capital District Red Cross is building community support for homeless and in need veterans with its Totes of Hope program. As part of its the Annual Stand-Down, the Red Cross, working with the New York State Dental Foundation, is providing services such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, VA and Social Security benefits counseling, and referrals to other necessary services like housing and substance abuse treatment, to homeless veterans as part of one to three day events.
The Foundation is providing toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss.
Stand-Downs in the military are traditionally associated with a break in combat when troops are brought in to a safe haven for a period of rest, relaxation, hot meals and a chance to be free from the rigors of war. This also applies to homeless veterans in the area, who need to be free from the rigors of the street.
To participate or find out more about Stand-Downs, go to the www.RedCross.org or check out the attached flyer.
This summer the Foundation worked with the Chenango Health Network to offer an Innovative Readiness Training (IRT), which is providing free medical, optical, dental and veterinary services to the residents of Chenango and surrounding counties, areas which are very rural, with high poverty rates, little to no dental insurance, and low dental utilization rates.
The Department of Defense’s IRT program is a US military volunteer training opportunity that provides training and readiness for military personnel while addressing the needs of underserved American communities. Through this program, military units refine their engineering, health care, diving, and transportation skills by performing services and developing projects for communities that otherwise would not have the resources to conduct them on their own.
The IRT will be offered each day from 13 – 22 July. Army reservists will provide treatments for more than 7,000 people. Following treatment, these individuals will be guided to exit interviews where they will contain take-away bags and follow-up instructions. The Foundation provided tooth brushes, toothpaste and floss for this event.
Chenango Health Network is a non-profit rural health network that offers free services to the community such as insurance navigation, prescription assistance and the services of community health advocates.
“We were thrilled and proud to work with the Army Reserve and the people at the Chenango Health Network,” exclaims Foundation Executive Director Laura Clark Leon. “Innovative Readiness Training provides real world training opportunities for our service members and units to prepare them for their wartime missions while supporting the needs of America's underserved communities.”