Kalamazoo veterans event makes pandemic changes

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — An event in Kalamazoo County Friday will help veterans with everything from housing to employment.

The Kalamazoo County Veterans Stand Down event was held indoors in previous years, but this year will move to the Salvation Army parking lot on South Burdick Street.

Lauren King with the Kalamazoo County Veterans Service Office says organizers have worked carefully to create an event that follows all health and safety protocols during the pandemic.

“This year it is a drive-thru event, so the intention is to keep the veterans in their car and everybody at the event should be wearing a mask, if it’s medically tolerable, and the people that will also be volunteering there will also be wearing gloves while we hand out the items that will be given out during the event,” King said.

The annual event brings community resources for veterans together in one location to improve access. It is put on in partnership with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and other community partners that work with veterans.

“Everybody’s needs are going to be different, that’s why we bring just a plethora of resources together for our veterans,” King said.

Veterans were asked to sign up ahead of time but if they missed the window can still attend. The event runs from 9:00a.m. to 2:00p.m.

If a veteran does not have a vehicle, walk-up services can also be provided.