Stand Down Against Homelessness event packs Armory Park

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Packed to the brim at Armory Park to help those in need. At least a few hundred people filled the North Charleston park Thursday for the 14th annual Stand Down Against Homelessness event.

Hosted by the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Hospital, the event is not only for Lowcountry veterans but all those in need.

One woman waited outside in line since midnight and at the times the doors opened at least 150 people were in line.

"We offer everything from medical screenings to dental screenings," said VA public relations officer Tonya Lobbestael. "We're also offering legal aid and job assistance and we actually have employers on site this year too who are looking to hire folks."

Lobbestael says the two-day event is one way is really helping those who need it the most.

"Our goal is if we see someone here at stand down this year here as a client we would really like to see them back as a volunteer next year," said Lobbestael.

One of those people is a woman named Mary Anne from Beaufort, who fell on hard times after spending eight years in the navy.

"There are so many resources here," said Mary Anne of the event. "We have employers here if they are looking for a job, they can get a flu shot just things that they may not be able to do because of being homeless."

Mary Anne says she was in the shoes of those who will be attending the event a few years ago. Now she works for the VA hospital. Lobbestael says her story is one of success that started at stand down.

"It's good for everyone," said Mary Anne. "Everyone that can come out, should come out."

For those who did not make it to Thursday's event, doors at Armory Park will reopen at 8 a.m. Friday for another morning full of help.

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