Home Depot at Basin Avenue and Highway 160 was home to the Veterans Stand Down earlier this month.
Upward of 30 local and area agencies participated in the annual event on Oct. 19.
Chairperson Linda Wright said the services provided at the annual event make a huge difference in the lives of all veterans, especially homeless veterans.
Representatives from the Veterans Administration and Pahrump’s Disabled American Veterans Chapter 15 were among the many agencies on hand.
“The services are crucial for all veterans because they need to know what’s available to them within the community as well as what’s available through the Veterans Administration,” Wright said. “At one time we had about 1,000 homeless veterans here Nye County. I’m not sure if that number has gone down, but overall, we have about 3,500 veterans living here in Nye County.”
Lynn Hall is associated with Pahrump’s Salvation Army, as a case manager for Social Services.
Hall said the agency is looking to gain a bigger profile within the community.
“We want people to know that we are available to help other people apply for all kinds of different services,” she said. “It’s not just for food, clothing, or household vouchers. We are trying to let people know that we are available to provide other types of assistance.
“We provide referrals for the homeless shelters in Las Vegas. Obviously, there’s many other services the Salvation Army provides which may not be available locally. We can give them referrals to housing efforts going on in the Las Vegas area. The response has been very good.”
Harold Hankins, a representative of the Salvation Army from Las Vegas, said it’s the first time the Clark County agency has participated in Pahrump’s Veteran’s Stand Down.
“One of my colleagues organized it and we are here to represent the Las Vegas area and give information on the services we provide,” he said. “We provide shelter and we also have what’s known as SSVF, which is Supportive Services for Veterans Families. It’s a financial component for those with financial barriers. The response has been pretty good today.”
Greg Cardarelli, Commander of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 15 in Pahrump, said the agency routinely participates in the stand down each year.
“As far as any veterans are concerned, whether they are homeless or not, they can come in and grab whatever they need,” he said. “If they need some sweaters or jackets for the cold weather coming up, we’ve got that. Everything here is free for the veterans.”
Cardarelli also noted that the agency focuses strongly on the needs of the valley’s homeless veteran population.
“We can help our homeless veterans with any claims they may have,” he said. “We can send them to Bob Hammond, who is our service officer. We can also help veterans get transportation for medical appointments. We support them 100 percent in any way we are able to. It was a little slow this morning. If it was a Saturday, we would have certainly been packed.”
VEA provides help
Pahrump’s Valley Electric Association also set up shop at the stand down.
Community Relations Representative Ryan Muccio said this was first time the co-op served as a vendor at the event.
“In previous years, we contributed in one way or another whether it was providing water, ice, pop-up tents or even food,” he said. “This is actually the first year we’ve had a table here, so we decided to put together a homeless hygiene kit full of different items and necessities that homeless veterans or any veteran may need.”
Additionally, Muccio said the response was very positive among the veterans.
“We are very proud to be down here today to give back to our veteran population here in the Pahrump Valley,” he noted. “The response has been great and the people who have stopped by have been very appreciative. We are happy to be here and serve them because they served and gave so much of their time and lives for us. It’s great to be here and provide assistance.”
The state Department of Veterans Services deputy director of programs and services arrived in Pahrump from Las Vegas.
Fred E. Wagar said the agency participates in the stand down each year.
“We have representatives here from the veterans service office,” Wagar said. “Brandi Matheny is our veterans service officer and we also have a volunteer here today. They are the ones who do the claims and assist the veterans and filing their claims at the VA.
“They can help you fill out the paperwork because if you try to do it by yourself, it can be really tough. If you don’t do it correctly, you can end up with problems. If you want to get it done, get some help. Whether it’s our veterans service officer or another agency or organization.”
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @pvtimes